The drug industry’s triumph over the DEA – with the help of Congress

❝ In the midst of the worst drug epidemic in American history, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets was derailed — that according to Joe Rannazzisi, one of the most important whistleblowers ever interviewed by 60 Minutes. Rannazzisi ran the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. Now in a joint investigation by 60 Minutes and The Washington Post, Rannazzisi tells the inside story of how, he says, the opioid crisis was allowed to spread — aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives…

❝ JOE RANNAZZISI: This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors’ offices, that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs.

BILL WHITAKER: Who are these distributors?

JOE RANNAZZISI: The three largest distributors are Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. They control probably 85 or 90 percent of the drugs going downstream.

RTFA. All of it. If you’re cynical as I am about our Congress-critters and how most of them are bought-and-sold, none of this will be a surprise.

Still, read the article. You will be better equipped to lambaste your friendly neighborhood politicians about their incompetence in the face of this epidemic.

2 thoughts on “The drug industry’s triumph over the DEA – with the help of Congress

  1. Update says:

    (12/17/17) “Whistleblowers: DEA attorneys went easy on McKesson, the country’s largest drug distributor : A 60 Minutes/Washington Post joint investigation into the DEA’s response to the opioid epidemic again finds investigators who hit a brick wall in Washington” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblowers-dea-attorneys-went-easy-on-mckesson-the-countrys-largest-drug-distributor/ “The inside story of the biggest case the DEA ever built against a drug company: the McKesson Corporation, the country’s largest drug distributor. It’s also the story of a company too big to prosecute. Holding McKesson accountable meant going after the 5th largest corporation in the country. Headquartered in San Francisco, McKesson has 76,000 employees and earns almost $200 billion a year in revenues, about the same as Exxon Mobil. Since the 1990s, McKesson has made billions from the distribution of addictive opioids.”

  2. Heigh ho... says:

    “Opioid addiction is keeping a high percentage of people out of the workforce, Fed chairman says” https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/17/opioid-addiction-is-keeping-a-high-percentage-of-people-out-of-the-wor.html The opioid crisis gripping communities across the U.S. also is taking an economic toll, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. Those counted as not in the labor force have increased by 16 million over the past decade, or more than 20 percent.

    More than 13 million people suffered opioid-related deaths in 2016.

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