As more people have died from prescription pain killer abuse than in all of the Vietnam War, a Pennsylvania Congressman who is slated to become the nation's next drug czar, and other members of Congress who received money from the drug industry, managed to pass a new law that hamstrings the Drug Enforcement Agency 's (DEA) ability to prevent those drugs from reaching the street.
The chief advocate of the law, long sought by the drug industry, was Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), who received nearly $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies, according to the report. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who negotiated the final version of the bill with DEA, received $177,000, the report said. Overall, the industry contributed some $1.5 million to the 23 members of Congress who sponsored or co-sponsored the bill.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
At the DEA, Associate Chief Counsel D. Linden Barber helped design and carry out the DEA's tough enforcement policy against drug companies that were failing to report suspicious orders for narcotics. But then, Barber left the DEA and now represents pharmaceutical companies who have been targeted by the DEA. He is one of dozens of DEA officials recruited by the industry over the past decade.
It's a story of Washington swamp rats enriching themselves while people are dying.