McCaskill Announces Committee Minority Roundtable on Opioids Sales and Marketing Following Report Detailing Insys’s Systemic Manipulation of Prior Authorization Process

WASHINGTON – Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, who this week released the first report in her comprehensive investigation into opioid manufactures and distributors, announced today that she will hold a roundtable on Tuesday, September 12 detailing sales and marketing tactics of Insys Therapeutics and opioid manufacturers generally. 

The mother of Sarah Fuller, who died from an alleged overdose of the powerful opioid Subsys, will participate in the event. McCaskill’s report includes an audio recording of an Insys employee’s conversations in which she repeatedly misled Envision Pharmaceutical Services to obtain approval for Sarah Fuller’s Subsys treatment—heavily implying she was employed by the prescribing physician and misrepresenting the type of pain the patient was experiencing. Jeffrey Buchalter will also share his story; Insys allegedly paid his doctor over $34,000 as part of its “speakers program” after which Mr. Buchalter was prescribed inappropriate doses of Subsys. Experts at the roundtable will include University of Missouri School of Medicine Professor Emeritus Dr. David A. Fleming and Georgetown University Medical Center Associate Professor Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman.

“The evidence we’ve seen of Insys misleadingly and possibly illegally pushing its opioid is appalling,” McCaskill said. “Far too many families in Missouri and across the country have lost their loved ones from opioid overdoses—and it’s important that we understand that the events detailed in my report have tragic real-life consequences.”

Click HERE to see photos of Claire rolling out her recent opioid report, Fueling an Epidemic: Insys Therapeutics and the Systemic Manipulation of Prior Authorization.

McCaskill launched her opioids investigation in March when she requested information related to sales and marketing materials, internal addiction studies, details on compliance with government settlements and donations to third party advocacy groups from major opioid manufacturers. She recently expanded her investigation, requesting documents and information from opioid manufacturers Mallinckrodt, Endo, Teva, and Allergan, while a request to McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Cardinal Health, Inc., focused on their distribution of opioid products.

On Wednesday, McCaskill released the first part of her investigation findings in a report, Fueling an Epidemic: Insys Therapeutics and the Systemic Manipulation of Prior Authorization. Read the report HERE.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Minority Roundtable

Tuesday, September 12
11:00 a.m. ET
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 562