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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Representing the 8th District of Illinois

Congressman Krishnamoorthi Joins Colleagues in Demanding Answers on the DEA’s Relationship with the Pharmaceutical Industry

October 19, 2017
Press Release

SCHAUMBURG, IL – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) joined Congressmen Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), and Matt Cartwright (PA-17) in sending a letter to the Acting Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) demanding answers about the agency’s failure to disclose its concerns about efforts that would make it easier for drug distributors to break the law. The letter comes on the heels of the troubling reports by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes that former high-ranking DEA officials authored and deceptively marketed legislation that undermines the agency’s ability to prevent companies from filling suspicious orders for large quantities of opioids.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible for upholding our nation’s drug laws, yet it has failed to prevent the wide distribution of opioids that has ravaged communities spanning the country,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “Recently, the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed a $106 million lobbying effort, on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, which led to the passage of legislation limiting the ability of the DEA to prevent drug companies from violating the law. These limitations included restricting the DEA’s power to halt the shipment of large quantities of narcotics deemed suspicious.

If these reports were not already disturbing enough, the legislation limiting the DEA was developed by former DEA officials backed by the pharmaceutical industry which marketed it as an initiative to help Americans in need of legitimate prescriptions. At a time when our country is facing a crisis of unaffordable pharmaceuticals, and while so many families have been torn apart by the opioid epidemic, it is unconscionable that our government would allow this to happen. I’m proud to join my colleagues in calling on the DEA to produce documentation of its interactions with Congress and the Administration as well as the revolving door of employees moving between the DEA and the pharmaceutical industry over the past decade.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.