McKinsey Reported To Double-Deal With FDA, Drugmakers On Opioids
A congressional report alleges that consulting firm McKinsey advised the federal government on issues related to the opioid epidemic while at the same time working for opioid manufacturers, including OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma. “Who we know and what we know” was part of their sales pitch.
McKinsey Consulted On Opioids For The FDA — And Also With Opioid Makers, Report Claims
More than 20 employees from consulting firm McKinsey worked for the U.S. government on issues related to the opioid epidemic while also doing the same type of consulting for major opioid makers like Purdue Pharma, according to a new congressional report. McKinsey, one of the world's most prestigious consulting firms, has been double-dipping with drugmakers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for years, creating a "serious conflict of interest" for the company, the report alleges. The report also found McKinsey officials used their contract with the government to drum up even more consulting work with private companies. (Brooks, 4/13)
The New York Times:
McKinsey Opened A Door In Its Firewall Between Pharma Clients And Regulators
Jeff Smith, a partner with the influential consulting firm McKinsey & Company, accepted a highly sensitive assignment in December 2017. The opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, beleaguered and in financial trouble, wanted to revamp its business, and an executive there sought out Dr. Smith. Over the following weeks, he traveled to Purdue’s offices in Stamford, Conn., meeting and dining with executives. His team reviewed business plans and evaluated new drugs that Purdue hoped would help move the company beyond the turmoil associated with OxyContin, its addictive painkiller that medical experts say helped to spark the opioid epidemic. But the corporate reorganization was not Dr. Smith’s only assignment at the time. He was also helping the Food and Drug Administration overhaul its office that approves new drugs — the same office that would determine the regulatory fate of Purdue’s new line of proposed products. (Hamby, Bogdanich, Forsythe and Valentino0DeVries, 4/13)
In related news about Big Pharma —
Despite Railing Against Big Tech And Big Pharma, Records Show Dr. Oz Has Invested Millions In Both
Television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has a considerable financial stake in major pharmaceutical firms and Silicon Valley giants, newly released records show -- despite railing against "Big Pharma" and "Big Tech" on the campaign trail. The disclosures, released late Wednesday, indicate that the GOP candidate and celebrity television doctor has poured millions of dollars into companies like Amazon and CVS -- a revelation seemingly at odds with a central tenet of his message to voters. (Kim and Bruggeman, 4/8)
And the FDA has its eye on 'patient influencers' —
Experts Warn That 'Patient Influencers' Are Being Paid By Big Pharma Companies To Hawk Drugs
A team at the University of Colorado, Boulder, warns in a report published last week that pharmaceutical companies are using internet micro-celebrities to help push drugs to consumers. While Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) drug advertisements are heavily regulated, by using these so-called 'patient influencers', the companies can avoid some of the standard disclosures required by law to sell prescription drugs. (Shaheen, 4/12)
CU Boulder Today:
‘Patient Influencers’ Are Booming On Social Media. Is That Good Or Bad?
“OMG. Have you guys heard about this?” So began a 2015 post by then-pregnant celebrity influencer Kim Kardashian, singing the praises of a “#morningsickness” drug called Diclegis to her tens of millions of followers on Instagram. “It’s been studied and there’s no increased risk to the baby,” she wrote, alongside a smiling selfie of her holding the pill bottle. “I’m so excited and happy with the results.” The Food and Drug Administration swiftly flagged the post for omitting the drug’s long list of risks, required Kardashian to remove the post and dinged the drug maker with a warning letter. (Marshall, 4/4)