President Donald Trump on Wednesday stated that the fight against opioid abuse is having progress and made a promise to hold drugmakers accountable for their part in the crisis.
Trump made the opioid crisis (which is mostly spread in rural areas supportive of Trump) one of his priorities, as the government took some steps in proving this and charged drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc and some company executives for fueling the crisis.
Trump said at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta:
‘’We are holding big Pharma accountable.’’
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from opioid overdose in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017 from a year earlier to more than 49,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Reuters, hundreds of lawsuits by state and local government accuse drugmakers such as Purdue Pharma of deceptively marketing opioids, and distributors such as AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp of ignoring that they were being diverted for improper uses.
Trump said that he urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to make fentanyl a controlled substance, on a meeting in Argentina at the end of 2017.
“Almost all fentanyl comes from China. They are going to make it a major crime,” Trump said.
The DNC also had an opinion on the subject, as they came up with a statement in which they attacked Trump and his policies saying that his proposed Medicaid cuts and efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, could make the opioid problem even worse.
During his campaign and presidency, several times Trump said that most of the drugs come from Mexico, and he used the current crisis to once again share his idea on building a wall on the border with Mexico, claiming that this will stop heroin and other illegal substances from entering the United States.