Do Democratic Candidates Have a Drug Problem?

 
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Pres. Donald Trump has stated he will refuse any political donations from the pharmaceutical industry for his 2020 reelection campaign, citing its role in the opioid epidemic. "I don't want their money. They have got to do what is right," he said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that about 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses. From 1999-2017, annual drug overdose deaths involving opioids jumped from 8,048 to 47,600. Opioid misuse costs Americans $78,500,000,000 a year. It makes sense that Trump and Democratic presidential candidates distance themselves from Big Pharma.

However, a glimpse into some prominent Dems' past fundraising reveals a cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry that yet may prove irresistible. Data retrieved from the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets News), Kaiser Health News, and MapLight show several Democratic candidates and their PACs with big drug problems to the tune of more than $3,000,000.

We need to open up transparency and do a lot of things that a lot of these folks who are profiting off the backs of the sick are not going to like," said Sen. Cory Booker (D.-N.J.), a presidential hopeful.

In an OpenSecrets article, Booker's career total from the pharmaceuticals/health products industry is listed at $434,774.

'What I see is the opioid industry and the drug companies that manufacture it... trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D.-N.Y.), who also is running for president.

Her career total from the pharmaceuticals/health products industry, maintains OpenSecrets, is $501,725.

"Since 1998, the pharmaceutical industry has spent more than $3,000,000,000 on lobbying, and they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign contributions to buy politicians. In 2016, they hired 1,380 lobbyists --nearly 14 for each member of the Senate --to get Congress to do their bidding," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (D.-Vt.), our nation's bestknown socialist and yet another candidate for the presidency.

For just the 2015-16 cycle, OpenSecrets relates, Sanders collected $315,570 from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

"Big pharmaceutical companies have unleashed an opioid crisis from the California coast to the mountains of West Virginia. Once and for all, we must call drug...

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