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Bipartisan Congressional Report Calls On WHO To Change Opioid Guidance, Accuses Purdue Pharma Of Influencing Guidelines

Associated Press: U.S. lawmakers demand U.N. health agency change opioid guidance
“Two U.S. lawmakers are calling on the World Health Organization to withdraw pain care guidelines that include what they say are false claims about the safety of prescription opioids. They say the guidelines could lead other countries toward the same kind of addiction and overdose crisis that has plagued the U.S. in recent years…” (Mulvihill/Keaten, 5/22).

The Guardian: Purdue Pharma accused of ‘corrupting’ WHO to boost global opioid sales
“…An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the U.S. opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs…” (McGreal, 5/22).

NBC News: U.N. agency is accused of helping Purdue Pharma spread opioid epidemic around the world
“…In a 38-page report titled ‘Corrupting Influence, Purdue & the WHO,’ Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., charged that the WHO has published guidelines for opioid use that parrot Purdue’s claims ‘that dependence occurs in less than 1 percent of patients, despite no scientific evidence supporting this claim’…” (Siemaszkol, 5/22).

STAT: Lawmakers contend WHO pain treatment guidelines are really Purdue ‘marketing materials’
“…In a new report, the lawmakers contend that the WHO guidelines, which were released in 2011 and 2012, are ‘serving as marketing materials for Purdue.’ And they pointed to efforts by the company to create and fund front groups that participated in research that shaped WHO decision making — and dovetailed with corporate goals to boost use of opioids, such as its own OxyContin pill…” (Silverman, 5/22).

Washington Post: Congressional report: Purdue Pharma influenced World Health Organization’s opioid guidelines
“…Purdue said the company ‘strongly denies the claims’ in the report, arguing that it ‘seeks to vilify the company through baseless allegations.’ It said the company is based in the United States and has no international operations. The World Health Organization did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday…” (Zezima, 5/22).