Betsy Rader calls on Rep. Joyce to Donate $41,500 in Big Pharma Contributions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 23, 2018
Contact: Brexton Isaacs, Brexton@BetsyRaderForCongress.com

Betsy Rader calls on Rep. Joyce to Donate $41,500 in Big Pharma Contributions
McKesson & Cardinal have collectively paid $194 million in penalties for opioid oversight failures

Novelty, OH – On Monday, Betsy Rader called on Congressman David Joyce to donate the $41,500 his campaign has accepted from scandal-plagued pharmaceutical companies, McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, and Amerisourcebergen. Last year, McKesson paid a $150 million settlement with the US government for failure to properly oversee shipments of opioids, the highest settlement ever of its kind. Cardinal Health paid $44 million in a similar settlement in December 2016. A recent congressional report found that the three companies shipped “the equivalent of about 260 opioid pills for every person in Missouri” between 2012 and 2017.

Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced in February 2018 that he was suing Cardinal Health, saying in the complaint, “Despite their obligation to prevent opioid diversion and their knowledge of the risks diversion poses, defendants have intentionally, unlawfully, recklessly and/or negligently allowed it to occur…They have treated fines as a cost of doing business in an industry that generates billions of dollars in revenue.”

In May 2016, Joyce voted against an amendment that would expand grants for developing, implementing, or expanding programs to ensure security of opioids at medical facilities.

“I’m calling on Congressman Joyce to donate the $41,500 total that he has accepted from these big pharmaceutical companies to a charity in our community that is working to support families who are struggling with the opioid crisis,” said Betsy Rader, the Democratic candidate in OH-14. “If we want to solve the opioid crisis, politicians must stop funding their campaigns with money from the crisis’ worst offenders. We need to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their contributions to this crisis.”

Recently released campaign finance reports indicate Congressman Joyce accepted $4,000 from McKesson on April 24, 2018, one day after McKesson’s board washed its hands of wrongdoing in the $150 million settlement. Joyce also accepted $1,000 from McKesson in October 2017, $5,000 during the 2016 cycle, and $7,500 during the 2014 cycle. Joyce has brought in $10,000 from Cardinal Health during the 2018 cycle, $5,000 during the 2016 cycle, and $3,000 during the 2014 cycle. Joyce accepted $6,000 from Amerisourcebergen between 2013-2017.

In February, Democratic nominee Betsy Rader announced that she was taking the No Corporate PAC Pledge.

Congressman Joyce has praised President Trump for declaring the opioid crisis a national health emergency over 6 months ago, but has taken little action on securing resources beyond what was already secured during the Obama administration. In fact, in May 2016, Joyce voted to block consideration of legislation that would provide $600 million in funding to address the opioid epidemic.

“We need more than lip service. As a member of the majority in Congress on the Appropriations Committee, voters in our district deserve to know why Congressman Joyce hasn’t been able to secure more resources for our state. Ohio families are suffering the effects of this crisis and we need action from our lawmakers,” added Betsy Rader. “Instead of taking money from companies like McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, and Amerisourcebergen that have exacerbated the opioid crisis, Congressman Joyce should be sponsoring legislation to hold these companies accountable.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Washington Post: Companies shipped 1.6 billion opioids to Missouri from 2012 to 2017, report says
“Three companies shipped approximately 1.6 billion doses of powerful prescription opioids to Missouri pharmacies from 2012 to 2017, according to a congressional report seeking the root causes of the opioid epidemic.”

Bloomberg: McKesson’s Board Clears Itself of Fault on Opioid Oversight

“A year after McKesson Corp. announced a $150 million settlement with the U.S. government over allegations it failed to properly oversee shipments of painkillers, a board committee cleared directors and senior executives of wrongdoing.”

Washington Post: Largest U.S. drug distributor accused of illegally handling cancer medication

“The nation’s largest drug distributor is being accused of illegally pooling leftover cancer medication from single-dose vials and selling it to health-care providers, who treated patients with it and often billed government programs for reimbursement…. “at best, McKesson was indifferent” to the possibility of harming patients, [plaintiff attorney George Carpinello] said.”

Columbus Business First: Ohio sues Cardinal Health and other distributors over opioids, saying they ‘breached duties’ to stop diversion

The complaint accuses the distributors of failing to flag suspicious shipments even after each paid millions in fines or settlements or had their licenses threatened by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration….”They have treated fines as as cost of doing business in an industry that generates billions of dollars in revenue,” it says. “Each defendant knew or should have known that the amount of opioids that it allowed to flow into Ohio far exceeded what could be consumed for medically necessary purposes … especially given that each defendant knew it was not the only opioid distributor servicing those communities.”

Columbus Business First: Cardinal Health now facing more than 350 opioid lawsuits
The number of lawsuits has climbed past 350 from government entities suing Cardinal Health Inc., other health-care distributors and pharmaceutical manufacturers over the cost of battling the opioid addiction crisis.

Fortune: As America’s Opioid Crisis Spirals, Giant Drug Distributor McKesson Is Feeling the Pain

In January, the Department of Justice announced that McKesson had settled, for $150 million, civil claims that from 2008 to 2013 the company had failed to warn the DEA about the large number of suspicious orders of highly addictive painkillers it had shipped to certain parts of the country. The penalty is the largest of its kind against a wholesaler, greatly exceeding a $44 million settlement the Justice Department reached with Cardinal Health in December on similar charges….On top of the suit by McDowell County, McKesson is now facing a lawsuit brought in 2016 by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. That suit alleges that the distributor failed to identify, report, and stop the shipment of suspicious orders of opioids in the state from 2007 to the present in violation of West Virginia’s controlled substances act. McKesson is fighting the charges in court.

VOX: Trump’s budget could help fight the opioid crisis — if it didn’t try to repeal Obamacare

If you want to understand how little President Donald Trump has done so far on the opioid epidemic, just read this paragraph from his 2019 budget plan…At first read, this might sound impressive. Trump not only created a commission to address the crisis head-on, but reportedly added $1 billion in funding to combat the epidemic. But this paragraph is extremely misleading. Trump’s commission? The administration has only implemented less than a handful of its dozens of proposals. The extra $1 billion? That money actually comes from the 21st Century Cures Act — signed into law not by Trump but by President Barack Obama in 2016. This is the best that the Trump administration can come up with in its big budget plan: a commission that it mostly ignored and money that the previous administration approved.

The News-Herald: Democrat running for Dave Joyce’s seat says she won’t take corporate PAC money
A Democratic candidate challenging for the Ohio’s 14th District U.S. Congressional seat has announced she will not take money from corporate political action committees.