Trump Vows To Hold Big Pharma Accountable For Role In Opioid Epidemic As He Touts Progress
President Donald Trump spoke to the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta about funding for addiction treatment, stronger scrutiny of Big Pharma and tougher interdiction of drugs at the border with Mexico. Experts, however, criticized his administration for falling back on fiery speeches without delivering progress. “It’s like pointing to a burning building, saying there is an emergency, then not calling the fire department,” said Andrew Kolodny, a director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
The New York Times:
Trump Declares Commitment To Ending Opioid Crisis ‘Once And For All'
President Trump, after a week devoted to criticizing the Mueller report and investigations by congressional Democrats, turned on Wednesday to a policy matter, vowing to “smash the grip of addiction” caused by the opioid epidemic. Addressing a conference of health professionals and addiction specialists in Atlanta, Mr. Trump promised to provide more funding for treatment, stronger scrutiny of what he called Big Pharma and tougher interdiction of drugs at the border with Mexico. (Tackett and Sullivan, 4/24)
The Associated Press:
Trump To Keep Fighting Opioids 'Until Our Job Is Done'
"My administration is deploying every resource at our disposal to empower you, to support you and to fight right by your side," Trump said. "We will not solve this epidemic overnight but we will stop. ... There's just nothing going to stop us, no matter how you cut it." Before leaving the White House for the Atlanta event, Trump claimed credit for progress in combating the drug scourge. (Freking and Superville, 4/24)
Georgia Health News:
Trump Headlines Emotional Atlanta Summit On Opioid Crisis
Trump pointed out that his administration has allowed states to use Medicaid dollars to pay for residential treatment, and that thousands of inmates have received addiction services through the recently passed criminal justice reform. Trump also discussed shutting down illegal online drug-selling networks and implementing more aggressive efforts to seize illegal drugs. The president said $19 million in cocaine was recently seized at the Port of Savannah. And he added that his border security initiative would help stop the flow of heroin into this country. On a related note, he mentioned that China, a major source of fentanyl, recently vowed to crack down on manufacture of the drug. (Miller, 4/24)
Trump Says He Is Holding Big Pharma Accountable In Opioid Fight
On Tuesday, the government charged drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc and company executives for their role in fueling the epidemic. The company agreed to pay $20 million and enter a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges it turned a blind eye to thousands of suspicious orders for opioid pain killers. "We are holding big Pharma accountable," Trump said at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta. (Rampton, 4/24)
The Washington Post:
Trump Defends Administration's Response To Opioid Crisis: ‘We Will Never Stop Until Our Job Is Done’
While accusing pharmaceutical companies of “rigging the system against our great seniors,” Trump also slipped in a veiled reference to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe, telling the crowd, “I know all about rigging the system because I had the system rigged on me.” Then, demonstrating the canny instincts of a TV producer, he offered a faux lament: “Unfortunately, that will be your sound bite tonight.” (Parker and Sonmez, 4/24)
Trump Vows To 'Smash The Grip' Of Drug Addiction
First lady Melania Trump, who also spoke at the summit, said her husband “cares deeply” about fighting the opioid epidemic. (Sullivan, 4/24)