On the Hill with Doug Christian
(Audio: Dick Durbin on the Sackler family and the opioid crisis)
Capitol Hill – Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) from Illinois asserts last year that Purdue Pharma its owners, the Sackler family, had started the opioid crisis that is killing 130 people daily in the United States.
Today, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is set to go on trial in Oklahoma. Another drug company, Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, settled with Oklahoma for $85 million on Sunday, so as not to risk an even more costly outcome from trial, as well as the negative daily publicity televised courtroom proceedings will deliver throughout the summer. Teva did not admit any wrongdoing under the settlement.
In October, a much larger multi-district litigation in Ohio, overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, brings together over 1,000 lawsuits from governments and groups against an array of pharmaceuticals, claiming the drug companies owe tens of billions of dollars for the cumulative damage they have wrought.
In other news, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to fight for the Green New Deal (GND). Her tweet from a few hours ago says:
5 Principles in the Green New Deal:
1. Go Big
2. Be Specific
3. Set Deadlines
4. Let Them Sue (aka, “Don’t Flinch”)
5. Make Floors, Not Ceilings
Awesome breakdown ⬇️ https://t.co/QTKfYWq1b5
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 27, 2019
- Go Big refers to the enormity of her ambition, aiming to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” within 10 years.
- Be Specific demands how and when the goals will be accomplished.
- Set Deadlines demands deadlines for action and compliance.
- Let Them Sue would authorize private citizens to file lawsuits seeking penalties and a court injunction if a company isn’t in compliance.
- Make Floors, Not Ceilings, means that we should set minimum federal standards for renewable energy and not seek to prevent higher quotas.
Looking forward, Congress is out of session and will return next week.
Doug Christian, Capitol Hill