In our last episode of this series, we learned how passage of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act took away the DEA’s most effective diversion control enforcement tool, the immediate suspension order. The bill was shaped in large part by a former DEA lawyer. On this episode, you’ll hear more stories about Congressman and high ranking government agency officials who have played key roles in deciding the fate of drug bills and policies; and weeks later went to work in the pharmaceutical industry.
24 years ago, the medical director for the FDA played a key role in approving OxyContin without clinical trials and shortly thereafter, left to go to work for Purdue Pharma. In this podcast you’ll hear a clip from “The Sentence that Helped Set Off the Opioid Crisis” a podcast by Caitlin Esch and Krissy Clark in their “Uncertain Marketplace” series that frames a key reason why OxyContin was approved by the FDA and the people involved in that decision.
Back in 2007, a member of Congress led an all-night effort to pass legislation that prohibits the government from negotiating lower Medicare drug prices. Today we’ll play a “60 Minutes” piece by Steve Kroft from 2007, that reveals what happened after the bill was passed and why, in our country an EpiPen costs $608 and in Britain, where they can negotiate drug prices with the manufacturers, it costs just $70. The Congressman who led passage of that bill became a leading lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Industry after its passage.
Today in the final part of our 4-part series with Mr. Joe Rannazzisi, he shares his reaction when his department was asked to be more like the FDA. As we pick up our discussion, Mr. Rannazzisi talks about the shakeup in leadership that led to his departure from the DEA.