After Sponsoring Legislation that Gutted the DEA’s Ability to Shut Down Pill Mills,While Accepting Contributions from Big Pharma, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Has the Audacity to Decry “Inadequate” Presidential Funding of the Opioid Crisis
WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND – In an attempt to score points with Rhode Islanders, this week Senator Whitehouse (and nine other Democratic senators) sent a letter to President Trump demanding “substantial funding” for the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation.
Ironically, it was Senator Whitehouse who co-sponsored the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, a single piece of legislation that gutted the power of the U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to curtail massive shipments of prescription drugs,according to a CBS News report.
Last year 64,000 American lives were lost to drug overdoses, including two-thirds from prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids. The number of opioid-related deaths is expected to continue rising in 2018. On average, six people a week are dying from drug overdoses in Rhode Island.
Whitehouse defended his bill, arguing it “offers better guidance for companies in the prescription drug supply chain.” A joint investigation by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes, however,concluded that the law did not offer “guidance.”
Instead it stripped the DEA’s authority to crack down on abusive pill mills and other distributors of opioids at the height of this epidemic according to Joseph Rannazzisi, a former DEA official.
As your next Senator, Bob Flanders pledges to address the epidemic with a bipartisan approach and actively work to reverse this Whitehouse co-sponsored legislation, which other Democratic senators agree should be repealed.