Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Re-introduces Opioid Crisis Accountability Act
May 22, 2019
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced the Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2019. This bill would prohibit the illegal marketing and distribution of opioids as well as create criminal liability for top company executives, penalizing drug manufacturers who illegally advertise, market, or distribute an opioid product. The bill would also require drug makers to reimburse the country for the negative economic impact of their products.
“Opioid companies have lied, cheated, and profited from the addiction and death left in the wake of the crisis they helped create. The criminal nature of these companies’ actions have destroyed lives and families, and overwhelmed the criminal justice and public health systems,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “This bill provides tools to hold those like Purdue Pharma accountable for preying on patients using deceptive marketing tactics, as they proliferated these highly-addictive and destructive drugs on our streets.”
“When I visit the communities that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic, I see the victims of unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies that have put profits over the patients they were intended to serve,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “This bill holds opioid manufacturers and their executives accountable for decades of dishonest sales practices and malicious drug distribution. Over the past 20 years, more than 400,000 people have died of opioid overdoses, and millions more have been stricken by addiction. Their loved ones deserve justice.”
Background: Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Michael Bennet (CO) introduced the companion bill yesterday in the Senate. Organizations supporting the legislation include Public Citizen, CREDO, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and Prescription Justice.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been at the forefront in Congress raising awareness about the opioid crisis as well as pharmaceutical industry’s role in propagating it and the need to hold companies accountable for the widespread economic impact that the crisis has produced. She has called out the deceptive marketing practices and efforts to overprescribe opioids. Rep. Gabbard and Sen. Sanders introduced similar legislation, the Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2018 in the 115th Congress.
Last month, Hawai‘i County joined multi-state lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over opioid addiction and overdoses.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawaii’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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