Rep. Tom Marino withdraws drug czar nomination after opioid controversy

Joshua Bennett
October 19, 2017

The bill, called Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, was signed into law by president Obama previous year, after it was passed by both chambers of Congress. Critics say it effectively stripped the DEA of its authority to investigate suspicious transactions as the government is now required to meet a higher standard before taking enforcement actions. In 2015, enough opioids were prescribed to medicate every American citizen for three weeks, the report found.

Sen. Joe Manchin, whose home state of West Virginia has been among the hardest-hit by the opioid epidemic, said he was horrified at the accounts of the 2016 law and Marino's role in it.

Following the revelations, Democrats, including Sen.

Marino's opposition to Obamacare is well aligned with Trump's.

Nonetheless, The Times and other media had made those implications known long before Trump selected Marino. "He didn't want to have even the perception of a conflict of interest with drug companies or, frankly, insurance companies".

The Washington Post and CBS' "60 Minutes" reported Sunday the agency had its ability to go after drug distributors restrained following legislation pushed by industry lobbyists who previously worked for the DEA.

President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the country's czar at the Office of National Drug Control Policy is withdrawing from consideration for the job. It has been two months since he said it was an emergency and pledged to devote more resources to addressing the issue.

In a letter to Trump, Manchin called the opioid crisis "the biggest public health crisis since HIV/AIDS".

Trump also announced Monday that he would officially make a national emergency declaration to fight the opioid epidemic next week, something activists and prominent members of the Republican Party, including Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), had been urging since he took office.

Should Marino be confirmed as the "drug czar", he would be tasked with developing and implementing policies to manage drug addiction and misuse. "And to get to that step, a lot of work has to be done and it's time-consuming work". We're going to look into the report.

"This mind-set - it's extremely risky to legitimate business", Marino reportedly told Holder.

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