December 05, 2017


Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) questioned Dr. Debra Houry, Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health and Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy of the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis  on the business rationale behind flooding 780 million pain pills into West Virginia from 2007 to 2012.

“This is truly a bipartisan problem. This is not a Republican or a Democrat problem that we have here - it’s been a silent killer for far too long,” Senator Manchin said. “780 million Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. That’s 433 pain pills for every man, woman and child. 433. And you’re saying a flag was never raised and now all of a sudden you’re all looking at them? Do you all believe that this has been, from the pharmaceuticals, to the distributors to the PBMs, a business model or a health-healing model?” 

Senator Manchin also touched on both the Jessica Grubb Legacy Act and Jessie’s Law, two bills in honor of Jessica Grubb to bring privacy regulations for substance abuse treatment in line with HIPPA and to establish best practices for hospitals to ensure that this information is shared throughout a health system.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.