On Sunday, October 15, a report aired on 60 Minutes detailing the federal government’s failure to combat the opioid epidemic, describing congressional activities to undermine the fight against opioids. The reporting showcased how Rep. Tom Marino used legislation to undercut the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), ultimately forcing him to withdraw from his recent nomination as Drug Czar.
The scandal centers on the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 that severely restricts the ability of the DEA to freeze suspicious pill shipments by pharmaceutical distributors. Even worse, there are indications that active steps were taken to obscure the language that gutted the agency in an otherwise innocuous piece of legislation. Aggressive prosecutions and fines of predatory pill distributors were effective tools in fighting the opioid epidemic until legislators and lobbyists covertly changed the rules in their favor.
Fortunately, there are already efforts underway in the Senate, spearheaded by Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin, to repeal this harmful and corrupt legislation. Restoring the DEA’s prior authority to intercept pills from suspicious buyers is a step in the right direction to fight the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Ask your Senators to support repeal of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [YOUR TOWN].
I'm calling to express my support for the repeal of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016. This law undermines the fight against the opioid epidemic, and we must now undo this dangerous legislation immediately.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
The Drug Industry's Triumph Over The DEA
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