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News Friday, May 18 2018

Rick Scott's Opioid Producer Ties Are The Definition Of A Conflict Of Interest

May 18, 2018

“It’s no wonder Rick Scott delayed taking action on Florida’s opioid crisis for years — he’s profiting from their deeply unethical business practices. Scott has nearly $300,000 invested in one drug company, and has given that company and others millions in tax breaks while their drugs hurt Floridians. That’s the definition of a conflict of interest,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Tampa Bay Times: Opioid makers, called “drug dealers,” gave $1 million to Florida officials over 20 years

By Lawrence Mower | May 18, 2018

  • “When she announced her lawsuit against some of the largest makers of opioids this week, Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi vowed the companies would “pay” for what they’d done.”
  • “But for the last 20 years, they have been paying – to Florida politicians.”
  • “Gov. Rick Scott, also a Republican, has taken $6,000, records show, although his ties to one of the companies runs deeper.”
  • “Scott, upon taking office in 2011, wanted to get rid of the [opioid] prescription drug monitoring program, saying it was an invasion of privacy. He wasn’t successful, but he was successful in eliminating the Office of Drug Control, a five-member unit that he never revived. He said their roles were assigned to other agencies.”
  • “His 2013 financial disclosure showed that he owned nearly $300,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock, and in 2015, he awarded the company with up to $4.9 million in incentives to open up a headquarters in Tampa.”
  • “He also awarded Actavis, whose parent company, Allergan, makes the opioids Kadian and Norco, up to $690,000 in incentives to expand its factory and warehouse in Davie in 2013. Both companies were named as defendants in the Florida lawsuit.”

Read the full story here.

Published: May 18, 2018

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