Saturday, May 12, 2018

Stand with Sen. Sanders: Hold Big Pharma accountable for its role in the opioid crisis.

Petition to Congress:
"Hold the big pharmaceutical companies accountable for fueling the deadly opioid crisis. Pass Sen. Sanders' Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2018."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Big Pharma lied about how addictive opioid medications were, but not one company has faced real punishment for unleashing the opioid epidemic.1,2
Pharmaceutical companies told sales reps to claim that opioids like OxyContin were less addictive and less likely to be abused than other painkillers. Purdue Pharmaceutical admitted as much in a settlement in 2007 but paid only a fraction of its profits as punishment.3
Sen. Bernie Sanders has a tough new bill that would hold Big Pharma accountable for the opioid epidemic, and it is exactly the kind of bold legislation that we need to show has huge support from the American people.
Purdue Pharmaceutical paid $600 million in fines as penalty for misleading us about the risks of OxyContin – but the same drug raked in $22 billion in profit for the company over the last decade. As Purdue and other Big Pharma giants got rich, painkillers prescribed after injuries or surgeries hooked countless Americans on opioids and fueled an epidemic that has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War.4
Sen. Sanders's bill would impose the harshest penalties yet on opioid manufacturers:5,6
  • Ban companies from claiming opioid-based medications are non-addictive and impose a penalty of 25 percent of profits if they do.
  • Make Big Pharma pay for the response to the opioid crisis by fining any company found liable $7.8 billion, equal to 10 percent of the annual cost of the crisis.
  • Hold top executives at pharmaceutical companies criminally liable if the companies are found to have contributed to the crisis.
  • Prohibit pharmaceutical companies and drug suppliers from flooding small towns with huge quantities of painkillers – the too-common practice of selling far more drugs than medically needed, making big bucks for the companies while fueling addiction.
The first step to responding to the opioid crisis is tackling the source of the problem. For too long, companies have looked the other way or misled the public in order to keep the money flowing while families were torn apart and lives lost. It's long past time for accountability for Big Pharma's role in the opioid epidemic.
Sen. Sanders makes it abundantly clear why this bill is so badly needed:
"We know that pharmaceutical companies lied about the addictive impacts of opioids they manufactured. They knew how dangerous these products were but refused to tell doctors and patients. Yet, while some of these companies have made billions each year in profits, not one of them has been held fully accountable for its role in an epidemic that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year."7
Republicans and corporate Democrats aren't going to like the sound of this. It's up to us to show mass popular support when members of Congress put forth tough, bold legislation – and put cracking down on Big Pharma at the top of the agenda.
Stand with Sen. Sanders: Hold Big Pharma accountable for the opioid crisis. Click below to sign the petition:
- Josh Nelson, Co-Director, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Sen. Bernie Sanders, "Sanders Introduces Legislation to Hold Opioid Makers Accountable," April 17, 2018.
  2. German Lopez, "Bernie Sanders is right: drug companies did help cause the opioid epidemic," Vox, Jan. 17, 2016.
  3. Sen. Sanders, "Sanders Introduces Legislation to Hold Opioid Makers Accountable."
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Yasmeen Abutaleb, "Senator Sanders introducing bill targeting opioid manufacturers," Reuters, April 17, 2018.
  7. Sen. Sanders, "Sanders Introduces Legislation to Hold Opioid Makers Accountable."

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