President Donald Trump has made “major investment” in drugmaker Mylan in a bid to reduce the number of people dying from opioid overdoses, according to a new administration report.
The president’s announcement of Mylan’s $50 billion deal comes after his administration was criticized for its response to the opioid crisis, which has seen more than 100,000 deaths and more than 4.6 million Americans overdosed since the beginning of 2017.
While Trump has repeatedly promised to increase the number and severity of overdoses, Mylan has faced criticism for failing to meet a series of key goals in a year in which more than 20 states have legalized and sold opioid prescriptions.
Mylan had been trying to reduce deaths from its opioid drugs by a third.
“While Mylan is a great company, I’m pleased to announce that President Trump has signed an executive order directing Mylan to make significant investment in a new and innovative drug development program to reduce opioid deaths in America,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement.
“Mylan will be investing millions of dollars to develop a new type of drug, and it will bring new products and new insights to the market that will be beneficial to our patients and to our nation.”
Mylan has struggled to reduce its opioid addiction rate.
Myriad health systems have reported a sharp increase in the number or deaths from opioid overdose over the past few years.
In September, the company’s CEO called the opioid epidemic a “public health crisis” that could “end in tears” in the United States, and a top official with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said the country faces a “national emergency” that is “becoming a national emergency.”
“As Mylan moves forward, I am confident that the nation will see a dramatic reduction in the death toll from opioid use,” Brescen said in September.
“The American people deserve a better, more reliable, safer drug.
And that is exactly what Mylan will deliver.”
The drugmaker had faced criticism from lawmakers for a lack of transparency in the program.
Brescens’ remarks come after the administration on Monday announced a $20 million federal investment in Mylan for the first time in more than a decade.
The White House said the funding would help Mylan develop a novel drug called naloxone, which is an antidote to the painkiller fentanyl.
The Mylan investment comes as President Donald Trumps administration faces criticism over the opioid and drug overdose crisis and has been criticized for not taking the necessary steps to combat it.
The opioid crisis has forced Mylan and other pharmaceutical companies to slash prices and delay the launch of new drugs.
Mylan, which also makes EpiPen and Narcan, said last month it would spend $1 billion to fight the crisis, though that number was disputed by some lawmakers.