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Ron Wyden

Senator scrutinizes pharma links on government pain panel

A high-ranking Senate Democrat is scrutinizing links between pharmaceutical companies and government advisers who recently criticized efforts to reduce painkiller prescribing.

Sen. Ron Wyden says he has a "number of concerns" about how panelists were selected and screened for an advisory panel on pain issues that includes government experts, outside academics and patient advocates. Wyden's inquiry follows a recent Associated Press story that found nearly a third of panelists at a December meeting of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee had apparent financial ties to painkiller manufacturers, including the maker of OxyContin.

"These financial...

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