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Last Post 19 Oct 2017 05:58 PM by  Lloyd Grubb
"A good networking opportunity", Opioid crisis commission meeting
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Lloyd Grubb
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19 Oct 2017 05:58 PM
    In a ballroom in a state office building, 17 pharmaceutical executives met with White House officials, members of President Trump's opioid commission, and federal regulators who oversee the drug industry, who pitched what they called a "public-private partnership" to address the opioid crisis.

    But the meeting wasn't set up by the White House or public health officials. Emails obtained by USA TODAY show that many of the invitations came from Choose New Jersey, a nonprofit economic development agency run by a longtime Christie friend and political aide.

    A week later, the New Jersey governor invited many of those same executives to testify before the opioid commission — which Christie chairs — to promote their own drugs and therapies to treat opioid use disorder or to provide alternatives to the powerful painkillers in the first place.
    ...

    "I think that the fact that I have these relationships helps, given what you saw at that meeting," Christie said in an interview with USA TODAY. "Because they know I'm a guy who cares deeply about this issue, and I'm someone they have a long history with, they all came."

    "I think you can be somebody who recognizes the value of those companies, not just for the economy of your state and all the rest of that, but also the fact that NIH by itself will not solve this problem."

    But the relationship has some industry critics questioning whether pharmaceutical executives have too much influence on the deliberations of the opioid commission, whose job is to figure out ways to end the crisis of addiction and overdose deaths from legal painkillers sold illicitly.

    The commission has had three meetings so far, and taken testimony at two of them. The first featured a cross-section of nine experts and advocates; the second featured 11 pharmaceutical company representatives. Christie says he's also considered about 12,000 written comments.

    Many of those comments come from people suffering from pain and addiction, but also from drug companies.

    Christie also acknowledged two previously undisclosed meetings with drug companies as chairman of the opioid commission: One was with ADAPT Pharma, the Irish company that makes Narcan, the leading naloxone treatment to counteract opioid overdoses. Christie said he was particularly interested in which formulations were more effective against which drugs.

    The second was with Alkermes, the makers of Vivitrol, an opioid withdrawal drug that competes with methadone and buprenorphine, to learn about how the medication-assisted therapies work differently.

    "We should not be looking to industry to solve a problem they created. The answer to a pill problem is not always new pills," said Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a pharmacology professor at Georgetown University and director of PharmedOut, a watchdog group that follows pharmaceutical industry marketing efforts.

    Both meetings, he said, were at his invitation and were with Patrick Kennedy, a Democratic former congressman from Rhode Island who also sits on the commission. "Some of this is a learning experience for me," he said. "I haven't felt lobbied about anything from these folks."
    ...

    Click here for full article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...752822001/

    Question: How do you view this partnership with the drug companies? Is partnering with the drug companies to produce solution a great idea?
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