Skip to Main Content
Contribute Try STAT+ Today

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will introduce a bill Tuesday that would impose jail time for pharmaceutical executives whose companies engage in manipulative practices when marketing opioids.

The legislation would impose a 10-year minimum prison sentence and fines equal to an executive’s compensation package if the individual’s company is found to have illegally contributed to the opioid crisis. It would also impose an additional fine on those companies of $7.8 billion — one-tenth the annual cost of the crisis, per a 2016 estimate.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • This is Pure BS and attack on Pharma companies are educating our Medical professionals on Use these medications. Yes Medications! It’s WRONG.
    Media, Politicians and the US Government needs to realize that some Patients need access to these vital Medicines!
    The ONLY problem these Politicians and DEA should be chasing is the Illegal Fentanyl Heroin Drugs coming across the Border! Get off Healthcare back. It already is Horrible care, you loving making it Worse?
    My God doesn’t any of these idiots realize there’s a need for legal pain medications in this country?
    Just how are Medical Professionals supposed to know about legal pain meds If they can’t be Informed about all medication ?
    This WITCH Hunt needs to STOP. No difference than,..
    This Russia BS going after our president! STOP It!
    AMERICANS are Sick of this Crap!
    Wake Up and start asking Patients what they think. They’re tax payers, paying these Politicians paychecks. We’re PISSED.

  • I understand some people abuse the pain medication. In all reality is it right to punish everyone. What about people that have had major surgeries, or crippling arthritis, or any other health issue that will never get better, and are still in chronic pain. I know there are injections that the dr can give. Been there, done , that , and pain gets worse after every injection. So, people that aren’t addicts and dnt abuse the medication have to just continue to suffer. I’m sorry I just don’t see where that is is right. When pain can not be controlled it causes high blood pressure in many people which becomes dangerously high. So now not only are those people hurting, they have to worry about the effects of high blood pressure. There is mess for high blood pressure but if a person does not normally have blood pressure issues it could bottom them out and cause serious issues.

    • According to the article, the bill works against people causing the abuse epidemic. The only impact it has on legal use is that certain types of inappropriate advertising will not continue, and huge unusual prescriptions will need an additional document from the prescribing doctor. If you are commenting about information which is not in the article, please link it.

  • Millie,get educated!Addiction is a disease!Nobody sets out to become addicted!Wake up! You’re part of the problem!LEARN, you’re teachable!

    • Yeah manufactured by the freaking FDA who told us… hello… the American people, that it was safe backing the freaking BIG PHARMA AGENDA what are you some kind of TROLL??? People do what they have to do to be pain free! I will not suffer because OUR GOVERNMENT says we have a crisis that THEY CREATED! And it’s always going to be something anyways because there is Always someone trying to get elected!!!!

  • Not everyone can absorb medications. For example: Patients who have had the Rouy-En-Gastric by pass surgery. It has been proven that we have Malabsorption. We can’t take Nsaids: Asprin, Mobic, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen Motrin. If we did it would put a hole in our pouch & lower intestines. We no longer have a dudemum to digest our food. So medication goes right though our system. Example time release medication like Oxycottin 10mg 2 to 3 pills a day. I suffered 7 weeks of excutite pain. I either have to have a pill that I can crush or that it has to be liquid form. Two servings of 15 ml per day of Hydrocoidone does not take pain away for patients like me. Why should I have to be pentilized when other don’t follow the rules. It only takes one person to take away from those of us who follow doctors orders when they write a script . I have by-laterial OsetoArthristis in each joint. 1 Failed Total Knee Replacement constant pain every day. 4000mg of Tyenol extra strength will cause liver damage. It does not work. I can’t have Cortizone shots or pill form it mixes with my blood chemistry which causes inflammation in my Esophagus called Barrett’s Esophagus Diease. I have back pain in the lumbar. I tried Radio Frequency abbrasion in the TKR it did not work. I would be better off dead then trying to fight fir my life. I can’t get my treatment for my Barrett’s Esophagus Diease until my depression & pain is under control. Depression is caused by the pain & Nobody is listening

    • It said written justifications would be required to prescribe amounts that don’t seem medically reasonable. If you need more because this is a legitimate concern for you, then all your doc needs to do is write that down. You aren’t being penalized.

      It is BARELY anyone’s decision to be become addicted to opioids. This bill targets opioid selling companies because its companies that market it and TRY to get people to buy it. Because when people buy it, they use it and become addicted. They only tried it because it wasn’t clear how addictive it could be and any damaging facts about it were downplayed and alternatives were brushed aside all the way through the healthcare system.

      You can’t know whether or not you have an addictive personality until you become addicted to something. For alot of people, opioids are the first thing they become addicted to because theyre told its okay and not as bad as alcohol, weed, other drugs, when really, opioids are more often MUCH worse than those things.

      You shouldn’t be asking why you should be punished when you have legitimate concerns because your legitimate concerns are still going to be taken care of.
      You SHOULD be asking why the fuck opioid companies AREN’T being punished for funneling harmful, addictive, and expensive drugs straight into the public and luring people into their addiction trap.

  • It’s reassuring to know,Bernie wants these executives to finally be held accountable and take responsibility.They damn well knew the damage Opiods cause!Make them pay for the addicted to get the treatment they deserve.I replaced Opiods with Medicinal Marijuna,a success 4 years later!

    • You mentioned pay for the treatment for the addiction.
      Someone should be held accountable for the deaths from overdose. Like you said, they knew the problems these painkillers could cause. Painkillers are killers, period.

  • Typical Liberal B.S. Blame someone else for lack of personal responsbilty. Hope he never has to have an operation and need the pain relief like I did.

    • Ray, who exactly did I blame in my post? What did I blame them for? If you don’t see the difference between the way the two drugs epidemics are handled, you don’t want to see the difference. I vote Republican exclusively, by the way. My viewpoint doesn’t come from the left.

      I appreciate a dismissive response as much as the next guy, I suppose.

      I’m glad you found value in the painkillers. I’ve found the same value before, taking them as prescribed and discontinuing the usage as instructed.

      What do you think about the constraints placed on doctors in prescribing pain meds? Is it right for an executive or legislative branch to respond to drug abuse by limiting the doctors in the USA?

      In the engineering trade we have two types. Technical problem solvers and those who apply administrative solutions to technical problems due to lack of technical knowledge. I draw a similarity between this and politicians and federal drug enforcement deciding how a doctor should do his job.

      I have recurring back pain so bad, I can’t walk at times. It’s not chronic, but these days I don’t even bother going to the doctor. I can buy acetaminophen and ibuprofen over the counter. The current climate has frightened doctors from prescribing opiates. They want to send you to a pain management clinic. I am not constantly in pain, but it sure was nice in the past, being able to get effective pain relievers when my back did flare up. Forget it these days. Thank you, DEA.

  • Go further and put them to death, like the “president” wants to do to drug dealers.

Comments are closed.