Some things to know about opioids, political cash in Oregon

Heavy-duty prescription painkillers like hydrocodone and OxyContin are a big part of medicine in Oregon, with doctors prescribing them at a rate that nearly reached one per person last year.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the state get a huge chunk of their campaign cash from donors with ties to the prescription painkiller business.

But Oregon isn't alone: a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups spent more than $880 million on campaign contributions and lobbying nationwide over the past decade. The money comes from members of the Pain Control Forum - a group that touts prescription opioids as having a vital role in improving the quality of life for millions of Americans.


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