Connecticut Lawmakers Accepting Campaign Contributions From Drug Companies
An Associated Press investigation claims that drug companies have been contributing money to several state and federal lawmakers including Connecticut.
Connecticut's Congregational delegation has received more than $641,000 in campaign contributions from some of the major drug companies. The Associated Press and The Center for Public Integrity have been investigating whether pharmaceutical companies who contribute to state lawmaker's campaigns are attempting to influence state and federal policy regarding opioids. Gary Mendell, the founder of the Norwalk-based Shatterproof, which lobbies for limits on pain medication told the AP:
It's simple, it's to sell pills. It's what's driving the opioid epidemic. It's all about the money.
The AP contends that there's a 50 state strategy that has employed hundreds of lobbyists and spent millions of dollars funding state lawmakers campaigns in exchange to help weaken or kill measures that aim to control the number of opioid prescriptions. So far, drug companies have spent a total $880 million to lobby politicians. Here are some of the money amounts that Connecticut politicians have received from certain drug companies since 2007.
* U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal - $71,500
* U.S. Senator Chris Murphy - $85,850
* U.S. Represenative Jim Himes - $135,000
When Connecticut politicians were asked about whether the money they received from the drug makers had anything to do with influencing their decisions, Senator Blumenthal told the Connecticut Post:
Whatever the contributions were, they played no role or had no influence on my strong pursuit of action against opioid addiction, or its problems.
What do you think? We're in crisis mode when it comes to opioid addiction. Do you think lawmakers are on the take from the major drug companies to stall the progress of legislation to help control the amount of prescriptions of addictive pain killer medication just to line their pockets?