Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri will lead a roundtable Tuesday to explore the role of opioid manufacturers in the national opioid crisis.
McCaskill, a ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will join a woman whose daughter died after she overdosed on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, and a U.S. veteran whose doctor prescribed to him unconventional doses of fentanyl designed for cancer patients enduring intense pain.
David Fleming, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, and Adriane Fugh-Berman, an associate professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, will also join the conversation.
A preliminary report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month showed that more than 64,000 people may have died from drug overdoses in 2016, a more than 20-percent increase over the previous year. A final report from won’t be released by the government until the end of the year.
In March, McCaskill launched an investigation into how opioids were pedaled by drug companies to the public. On Sept. 6, McCaskill released a report that detailed the investigation’s findings so far, raising questions about whether pharmaceutical manufacturers were unethical in how they helped people obtain the opioids, sometimes with lethal results.
This investigation is ongoing.