Congressional report: Pharmaceutical industry influenced WHO's opioid guidelines

A new congressional report from the offices of Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Hal Rogers (R-KY) concludes that guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) on treating pain were directly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, including a set of directions for prescribing opioid analgesics that appear to have been taken from Purdue...

A new congressional report from the offices of Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Hal Rogers (R-KY) concludes that guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) on treating pain were directly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, including a set of directions for prescribing opioid analgesics that appear to have been taken from Purdue Pharma. "The web of influence we uncovered, combined with the WHO's recommendations, paints a picture of a public health organization that has been manipulated by the opioid industry," states the report, which was issued Wednesday. Purdue "strongly denies the claims" in the report, asserting that it "seeks to vilify the company through baseless allegations." Clark and Rogers's report also alleges that Purdue's marketing was based on the premise that prescription opioids were safe and effective and that addiction was rare, something the legislators say WHO also pushed in its guidelines. The report claims that both Purdue and the WHO played down the risk of addiction, with the global health organization saying there was an "unreasonable fear" of opioids. Clark says she wants WHO to explain the guidelines and whether they were influenced by corporate strategy.