According to a Washington Post and “60 Minutes” investigation, the drug industry has successfully weakened a Drug Enforcement Administration program that was effective in stopping drug distribution companies from dumping excessive amounts of prescription opioids into communities. Because of the industry’s campaign, the DEA’s strongest advocates for aggressively policing drug distributors were neutralized and Congress enacted – and Pres. Obama signed – legislation in 2016 that crippled the DEA’s ability to stop suspicious shipments of prescription opioids.
“The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” former top DEA official Joseph T. Rannazzisi told reporters. “I mean to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.” The architect of that bill — now the law — was U.S. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania), President Trump’s nominee to be the nation’s next drug czar. Yes, it’s true.