The Washington Post reports private companies have paid as much as $25,000 to have a seat at the FDA advisory panel meetings on federal regulations for prescription painkillers. Avi Israel of Buffalo, who lost his son as a result of an addiction to painkillers, learned about the FDA meetings in emails while corresponding with a doctor.
“It’s a holocaust. It’s a holocaust for me because maybe we’re not marching kids into death camps, but we are doing is we’re allowing them to overdose, we’re allowing them to commit suicide, and we know what the problem is, but we’re not doing anything about it and it is no different than what happened in World War II,” said Israel.
October 9, just days after the article, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia sent a letter to the FDA commissioner informing that he is calling for a full investigation into the 'pay-to-play' report.
“I am gravely concerned by the allegations of ‘pay to play’ between the FDA and pain medicine companies and am calling for a full investigation to see how deep this goes,” said Senator Manchin. “If these allegations are true, they explain why it has taken the FDA almost a year to reach a decision to reschedule hydrocodone even after their own expert advisory panel recommended it. It is a shame that some of these companies were able to influence the FDA’s decision with a $25,000 contribution, while West Virginian families are destroyed by the addiction these pills cause.”