Bipartisan leaders of House panel press drug companies on opioid crisis

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked Insys Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma for more information about their parts in the opioid epidemic. In letters sent to the three drug makers, the bipartisan group requested answers to questions about how the firms marketed opioids, among other points.

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked Insys Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma for more information about their parts in the opioid epidemic. In letters sent to the three drug makers, the bipartisan group requested answers to questions about how the firms marketed opioids, among other points. In its letter to Purdue, the committee asked whether the company changed its marketing behavior after 2007, the year it pleaded guilty to misrepresenting the addictive qualities of oxycodone (OxyContin). In addition, the letter notes evidence in media reports that the company may have been aware oxycodone was being abused prior to when company officials said they first learned about the issue. "If Purdue personnel were in fact aware of reports of OxyContin being abused prior to 2000, then that may call into question testimony company executives provided to Congress, including before this Committee," the lawmakers write.