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The 23-page report, put out by Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, sheds light on the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to shape public opinion and to fuel demand for such lucrative and potentially addictive drugs as OxyContin, fentanyl and Vicodin. These drugs have played a key role in the addiction crisis that has swept the U.S. in recent years, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.

Fueling an Epidemic: Exposing the Financial Ties Between Opioid Manufacturers and Third Party Advocacy Groups¬†describes how the arrangement between pharmaceutical makers and advocacy groups “may have played a significant role in creating the necessary conditions for the U.S. opioid epidemic.”

“The pharmaceutical industry spent a generation downplaying the risks of opioid addiction and trying to expand their customer base for these incredibly dangerous medications, and this report makes clear they made investments in third-party organizations that could further those goals,” McCaskill said. “These financial relationships were insidious, lacked transparency and are one of many factors that have resulted in arguably the most deadly drug epidemic in American history.”

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