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U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and her Sordid InvestigationMarianne Skolek-Perez, Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
Is there some sort of connection that we all should be aware of?
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - Someone may want to inform Senator McCaskill that her recent call for an investigation into the prescription opioid epidemic was already launched by the U.S. Finance Committee in 2012 and as of 2017 there is still no report.
So why would McCaskill demand action on an epidemic killing in the thousands every year when she is aware the waters are not uncharted? Let me try to enlighten those people, including McCaskill, why not everyone is buying what she is selling.
The initial call for an investigation by the U.S. Finance Committee into the prescription opioid health crisis was launched by U.S. Senators Max Baucus (Montana) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) who have since moved on to greener pastures.
They were succeeded by Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Ron Wyden (Oregon). Baucus and Grassley began an investigation in May 2012 into the ties of pharmaceutical giants Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson with pharma funded pain foundations and physicians who pushed for the increased use of prescription painkillers aka opioids.
This push for physicians to prescribe painkillers was by the pharmaceutical companies and their paid foundations and physician spokespersons to advocate for the "under treatment of pain".
McCaskill sent letters to Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed, which she said make the top-five-selling prescription painkillers.
She is seeking sales and marketing materials, any studies the companies might have conducted about the addictive properties of their drugs, information on compliance with legal settlements and figures on donations to advocacy groups.
Someone want to ask Senator McCaskill why she did not include in her "waste of taxpayer money investigation" the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company, Mallinckrodt who manufactures oxycodone and fentantyl and have been under U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigation for their contributions to the prescription opioid death toll?
In fact, Mallinckrodt reached a $35 million settlement to resolve its monitoring and reporting of suspicious orders of controlled substances.
McCaskill did not call out Mallinckrodt because they are headquartered in her home state of Missouri. Something to hide Senator?
Now, getting back to the good senator's "Joan of Arc" fight for the families who have lost loved ones to the prescription opioid epidemic...
May I make a suggestion to you Senator McCaskill? Hop a plane to Utah and bring back the sealed copy of the original investigation into the prescription opioid epidemic launched in 2012. Senator Orrin Hatch has sealed the report.
Why would you be launching an investigation into a life and death crisis when you have to be aware that a report has already been conducted by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee? You might want to ask Senator Hatch why he sealed the report as the death toll mounts?
While you are confronting Senator Hatch as to his unethical sealing of a report that the American people are entitled to have Senator McCaskill -- and could save tens of thousands of lives -- ask Mr. Hatch if he knows anything about a pain clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah.
You might need to refresh Senator Hatch's memory though so I will help you out.
There was a pain clinic headed by Lynn R. Webster, MD in Salt Lake City, Utah. There was a DEA raid on the clinic when patients were dying. Rumor was up to 100 deaths. A U.S. Attorney in Utah was investigating the deaths.
Lawsuits were filed and settled out of court by victim families. The pain clinic was shut down and the U.S. Attorney closed his investigation.
Webster moved out of the pain clinic business when there were ripplings that his license to prescribe opioids was suspended. He reinvented himself and now is an "expert" on the research of the attributes of prescription opioids.
There couldn't possibly be a connection between the sealing of a U.S. Finance Committee investigation report on the prescription opioid epidemic, Senator Hatch and Dr. Webster now could there, Senator McCaskill?
And then there is your allegiance to Mallinckrodt headquartered in your state of Missouri. Too sordid to even imagine, don't you think?
_________________________________________Below are links to articles I have written since 2012 asking where the report is and more importantly where the outrage from families losing loved ones to the prescription opioid epidemic is.
Articles for April 16, 2017 | Articles for April 17, 2017 |