U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, says banning pharmaceutical companies from deducting drug advertisements on their taxes would have a very positive impact on the nation’s opioid crisis. She is investigating ways that addictive prescription drugs are being marketed by companies.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri

“Right now, all these pharmaceutical companies are spending more on sales and marketing than they are on research,” says McCaskill. “We all know how often we see ads for prescription drugs on television.”

During a stop on Friday in Columbia, she says her investigation underway has uncovered some “jaw-dropping discoveries”, including a company whose sales slogan is “Start them high and hope they don’t die.”

McCaskill says she will be putting out a report soon that shines the bright light on abuses of pain management businesses, including some 501c3 organizations.

“We have not only a treatment issue. We have not only an emergency medicine issue. We have a prescribing issue and we have a pharmaceutical drug industry issue. We need to be all hands on deck on all four issues,” she says.

She wants President Donald Trump’s public health emergency declaration about the opioid epidemic to have more teeth.

“We have not seen the rolling out of resources that we believe should occur for this crisis,” she says.

McCaskill also says there’s not enough attention on stopping drugs coming through the nation’s ports. She says the number of port officers has been reduced and the technology to find drugs traveling through ports must be upgraded.