Congress in drug pushers’ back pocket | AspenTimes.com

Congress in drug pushers’ back pocket

I'll believe the current administration is serious about doing something about the opioid epidemic when they're ready to go after the worst drug pushers of them all — the pharmaceutical industry. These guys should wear wide brim hats and pointy toed shoes. They're Superfly in business suits.

They're the ones who made enormous campaign contributions to members of Congress to persuade them to pass legislation in April 2016 that tied the hands of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to stop the flow of opioids from the pharmaceutical businesses. Along with the tobacco, alcohol, food industries and the drug pushers, the pharmaceutical industry knows addictive products are good business.

I pay $850 for a drug that costs $20 to produce. Why? Because I need it. The pharmaceutical industry puts profits ahead of the common good every time. I know it's difficult to look askance at the family doctor, but kickbacks happen.

The pharmaceutical industry used the power of political donations to influence Sen. Michael Bennet to vote against Sen. Bernie Sanders' bill to allow cheaper Canadian drugs to come into the country. Bennet's constituents needed that bill, but the drug money held sway.

Congress needs to repeal the bill that protects the pharmaceutical industry from the DEA and follow the Canadian example of how to provide cheaper drugs, i.e., socialized medicine.

Fred Malo Jr.

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