Prescription drug companies are increasingly using the Food and Drug Administration to fight opioid abuse and to stifle competition in the drug industry, according to a new report by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The report, “The FDA and Big Pharma,” found that pharmaceutical companies are using the FDA’s “rescheduling” program to push for the approval of drugs and other products that can ease the pain and suffering of patients.
Theres also a significant amount of money being spent to lobby the FDA and other agencies to delay or block drug approvals.
In 2016 alone, the FDA approved 2,569 drug applications to treat pain, nausea and vomiting, including 6,764 to treat the opioid overdose problem.
In 2017, it approved 2.3 million more drugs, including 5.2 million for the opioid abuse problem.
The FDA, in turn, is using the rescheduling to attack other competitors in the industry.
For example, the agency has proposed a rule to allow pharmaceutical companies to manufacture prescription opioids on the same production lines that produce the heroin and cocaine used to supply opioids to addicts and criminals.
Theres a lot of money at stake here.
And there is a lot at stake for both companies and for the American people.