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Two  lawmakers are urging the World Health Organization to rescind guidelines issued nearly a decade ago for treating pain because they contain “dangerously misleading” and sometimes “outright false claims” about the safety and effectiveness that were orchestrated by Purdue Pharma.

In a new report, the lawmakers contend that the WHO guidelines, which were released in 2011 and 2012, are “serving as marketing materials for Purdue.” And they pointed to efforts by the company to create and fund front groups that participated in research that shaped WHO decision making – and dovetailed with corporate goals to boost use of opioids, such as its own OxyContin pill.


Moreover, the guidelines contradict research concerning the extent to which opioid addiction occurs, according to the report. Consequently, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) argued that the “problem the WHO seems to be addressing is not how to limit the use of these highly addictive drugs, but rather how to eliminate barriers to their use.”

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