Painkiller industry is big part of Idaho medicine, politics

BOISE - Powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl have become a significant part of Idaho's medical landscape over the last decade, with doctors issuing enough opioid prescriptions last year to put the drugs in the hands of three out of four Idahoans.

A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity has found that opioids are a major part of Idaho's political landscape as well, with donations from members of the Pain Control Forum making up a huge chunk of lawmakers' campaign cash. The Pain Control Forum members include Perdue Pharma, Pfizer Inc. and other opioid manufacturers.

RELATED: Drug czar: Doctors, drugmakers share blame for opioid epidemic

Idaho ranks sixth in the nation for having a large amount of total political contributions come from Pain Control Forum members. That includes more than $44,000 given to Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter between 2006 and 2015, and more than $121,000 for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo during the same period.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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