McCaskill Statement on Final Report from President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today after the Trump Administration released the final report from the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis:

“I’m a former prosecutor who started one of the nation’s first drug courts, so I’m thrilled to see recommendations for dramatically expanding them. I’m also fully supportive of efforts to refocus patient surveys toward outcomes and away from pain levels, as I believe that’s contributed to over-prescribing these powerful drugs. These recommendations now need to be followed by a bipartisan effort to secure additional resources—and if President Trump is looking for an ally in Congress to help make that a priority, he’s got one in me.”

McCaskill launched the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the opioid crisis to date earlier this year, requesting documents from opioid manufacturers in March, and adding additional manufacturers in July as well as expanding her investigation to include distributors’ role in fueling the epidemic. In September, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics.

McCaskill recently introduced a bill repealing the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 after media reports indicated that it had dramatically restricted the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to crack down on opioid distributors suspected of wrongdoing.

When McCaskill served as Jackson County Prosecutor, she was instrumental in the creation of one of the nation’s first drug courts, which showed success in providing treatment for addicts facing non-violent drug offenses.