McCaskill Statement on President Trump’s Declaration of the Opioid Crisis as a Public Health Emergency

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today after President Trump declared the ongoing opioid epidemic a public health emergency:

“The opioid epidemic is a crisis for rural Missourians and urban Missourians, it’s a crisis for rich Missourians and poor Missourians and it’s a crisis that doesn’t care whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. President Trump’s announcement today is a much-needed step to fight the opioid epidemic that’s ravaging Missouri communities, but it’s critically important that it’s paired with additional resources to help tackle this crisis.”

McCaskill launched the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the opioid crisis to date earlier this year, requesting documents from opioid manufacturers and distributors. In September, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics.

McCaskill recently introduced a law 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.