President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis announced, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.” But last month, Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressman Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration, after a Washington Post/60 Minutes investigation revealed he led an drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that made it nearly impossible for the the DEA to keep opioids off the black market, The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act passed in 2016.
The drug industry lobbied heavily to win passage of the bill, contributing $1.5 million to its 23 congressional co-sponsors. Marino alone accepted nearly $100,000 in campaign cash from the industry (!)
This segment of Democracy Now! also looks into how the company that makes OxyContin and reaps the billions of dollars in profits it generates is owned by the Sackler family. An important report by Christopher Glazek reveals that the company that invented OxyContin downplayed the addictiveness of the drug and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength is owned by a reclusive family that doesn’t put its name on anything that isn’t the wing of an international art museum or an Ivy League School.