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Dec-12-2016 10:29printcomments

President-Elect Trump and the Troublesome Members on his Transition Team

We are fighting a Tsunami of addiction and deaths throughout the country.

pharma fatal
Jessica Gentile's loved ones erect temporary cemetery to raise heroin awareness. Link: 100 die a day

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - I wrote an article entitled "Legal Drug Pharmacies with Pill Mill Behaviors Must Be Accountable", published in Salem-News.com and Global News Centre Oct 2014. (A link to articles regarding a bill they sponsored HR 4709 is shown below.)

When my article was published by both newspapers, a congressional aide/press secretary to Tom Marino advised that he was going to "use congressional resources" to investigate not only me, but my newspaper editors.

Unfortunately Congressman Marino did not explain the meaning of "abuse of power" to his congressional aide/press secretary. The facts in my article were researched and were accurate.

My article in 2014 concerning the Blackburn and Marino bill was written because it sparked my interest. We were fighting a huge prescription opioid health crisis and Bill HR 4709 tied the hands of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) big time.

Consider if a pharmacy made a serious mistake with an opioid prescription, the offending pharmacy would not be sanctioned by the DEA. Rather it would only have to provide a remedy to the mistake in writing.

“All DEA licensees have an obligation to ensure that medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients. When they choose to look the other way, patients suffer and drug dealers prosper.”

Congresswoman Blackburn’s conflict with the DEA arose over HR 4709, the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014″, because she and Congressman Tom Marino wanted a provision to make sure that "law-abiding pharmacists aren’t swept up in efforts to bust the pill mills that sometimes consist of licensed pharmacies and doctors’ offices selling prescription painkillers illegally."

But Mark Trouville, DEA special agent in charge of the Miami Field Division was quoted as saying “All DEA licensees have an obligation to ensure that medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients. When they choose to look the other way, patients suffer and drug dealers prosper.”

In 2011, Congressman Marino introduced a bill that would exempt particular pharmacies from anti-trust laws. Five weeks later, the NCPA (a powerful pharmaceutical association) and ten of its member corporations began contributing a total of $47,500 to Marino’s campaign committee.

A majority (56%) of Marino’s contributions can be tied to groups that either benefit directly from legislation the Congressman has authored or that regularly lobby on issues that come before the subcommittees Marino sits on.

In 2007, Congressman Marino resigned from his position as a U.S. Attorney in Pennsylvania after a Department of Justice investigation was launched against him for giving a reference to a convicted felon to operate slot machines. Marino claimed he had written permission from the Justice Department to issue the reference — the Justice Department confirmed Marino was being less than truthful.

Marino resigned as U.S. Attorney and the internal probe against him was dropped by the Justice Department. He then took a position with the convicted felon earning $250,000 a year — until he was elected to Congress.

Last month President-Elect Donald Trump appointed Blackburn and Marino to his transition team.

Could Mr. Trump consider Ms. Blackburn and Mr. Marino for administration positions as a stepping stone from the transition team? Hopefully no, given their ties to the pharmaceutical industry as a prescription opioid/heroin epidemic ravages the U.S.

We are fighting a Tsunami of addiction and deaths throughout the country. Any politicians giving free reign for pill mills to flourish and tie the hands of the DEA need congressional resources to investigate their ability to profit financially. President-elect Trump has been quoted as saying he is going to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC.

He may need to expand the swamp draining to Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Hopefully Mr. Trump will not allow the "alligators" with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry into his administration.

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©2017 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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