Sen. Dick Durbin during a Senate hearing on Thursday took the pharmaceutical industry to task over the ongoing opioid crisis, MedPage Today reports.
Durbin pointed to a committee hearing several years ago in which it was disclosed the pharmaceutical industry sought permission to produce some 14 billion opioid doses annually.
“Think of that — at a time when we’re facing the worst drug epidemic in our history, a government agency is giving this industry permission to make 14 billion tablets!” Durbin said. “So, being a Senator, I decided to raise hell about 14 billion and boy, did we make progress. You know what we have now as an annual production quota? 13 billion.”
While Durbin targeted physician overprescribing during the hearing, according to the report, Washington State Health Care Authority Deputy CMO Charissa Fotinos said she had seen a different trend.
“We’ve seen a decrease in the number of prescription opiates prescribed over the last several years of about 44 percent,” she said.
To read the full report on MedPage Today, click here.