How big pharma's money and its politicians feed the US opioid crisis
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: November 13th, 2017
Trumps nominee for drug czar, the US congressman Tom Marino, was forced to withdraw after a report by the Washington Post and CBSs 60 Minutes highlighted his role in forging legislation that hinders the DEAs ability to move against drug distributors or pharmacies recklessly dispensing the opioid painkillers at the heart of the epidemic, which claims more than 100 lives a day. Marinos acceptance of substantial donations from those same companies compromised his nomination to head the federal agency charged with tackling the opioid crisis. But for Congress, the process was nothing unusual. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow to lobbyists and politicians on Capitol Hill each year to shape laws and policies that keep drug company profits growing. The impact of so much drug company money coursing through the veins of Congress is often incremental or largely unseen by the American public. But on occasion it has a hugely visible impact. While lobbying shapes medical policy across the board, it has had a profound impact on the opioid epidemic as deaths quadrupled between 1999 and 2015. The pharmaceutical industry poured resources into attempting to place blame for the crisis on the millions who have became addicted instead of on the mass prescribing of powerful opioids. Some of the pressure came through industry-funded groups such as the Pain Care Forum, which spent $740m over a decade lobbying in Washington and state legislatures against limits on opioid prescribing.
Note: This excellent article has lots more on the intense level of corruption found in this opioid crisis. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.