The Rise and Fall of the Opioid Industry’s Drug Czar

A  Washington Post 60 minutes investigative expose revealed that  Trump’s nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Agency, Tom  Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania  had led a successful effort in the House of Representatives to strip the DEA of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets. The revelation forced Marino to withdraw and Trump to start again in pursuing his long-promised campaign against opioid misuse.  The story suggests two lessons. First, corporate influence in Congress is so strong that even in an opioid epidemic, the drug industry can persuade Congress to deregulate to protect its profits.  Second, the power of investigative journalism continues to be an important check on abuses of authority.