TRENTON-U.S. Senator Cory Booker has been accused of being in the pocket of America’s big pharma industry for campaign donations he has received, but if elected, Rikin Mehta, who is challenging Booker says he will protect the opioid supply chain for the pharmaceutical industry.
Mehta, a longtime Democrat turned Republican worked for the Obama era Food & Drug Administration and Pfizer before starting his job as an executive at Aquestive Therapeutics. The company boasts support for a”Pipeline of medicines to overcome barriers that patients face with existing treatment options.”
One of their products is Suboxone, a buprenorphine/naloxone that helps treat opioid dependence.
Rikin kicked off his political career during a Facebook Live session with a group called “War on Patients Rights”, a group that lobbies for easier access to opioid-based prescription drugs to treat chronic pain. The group is against the government regulation of opioids due to the war on opioid abuse, which in New Jersey alone has killed thousands each year. It has become an epidemic in the Garden State.
Rikin said that war on opioids is nothing more than government overstepping and defended the pharmaceutical industry and physicians who prescribe the drugs to patients.
It’s no secret. It’s well documented that prescribing opioids for pain often leads to an addiction based dependence of opioids. When the prescriptions run out or the patient no longer qualifies for the drugs because the pain has subsided, they often go elsewhere to get their fix. It often leads to prescription drug abuse, heroin use and in many instances death induced drug overdose.
“We need to protect our supply chain,” Rikin said. “America has one of the best opioid drug supply chains and we must as a nation, protect the pharmaceutical companies’ supply chain.
If elected to the Senate, Mehta says he will make sure supply chains are protected.
When asked if doctors were over-prescribing opioids, Mehta said that is because of policies regarding the drugs, but he will ensure that the doctor-patient relationship remains and he will keep government intrusion out of the doctor’s office.
Mehta repeatedly defended America’s opioid addiction crisis on illegal drugs, shielding blame from the pharmaceutical industry that mass produces opioid-based drugs and over-prescribing doctors. Instead, he blamed the drug trade through the Mexican border of illegal and counterfeit drugs.
“Crisis and epidemic are buzzwords being used too often,” he said. “Government has no place in the practice medicine and should not be involved in the practice of healthcare,”
“Policies enacted to fight the opioid crisis have done harm to give access to the drugs for those who suffer from chronic pain. “Why are we creating points of barriers for people accessing drugs?”
Rikin said if elected to the Senate he would stop “knee jerk policies” that are “overreaching into people’s inalienable rights. We have reached this really unfortunate circumstance in our time where there’s this knee jerk reaction to overregulation of things that are government encroachment into people’s rights.”
“My position is Government should not overreach into the patient-doctor relationship,” he added. “I’ve spent my career advocating for medical marijuana or opioids.”
Rikin said during his career he has worked to take illegal opioids off the market and targeted bad products that infiltrate into big pharma’s supply chain, but that shouldn’t impact the good products.
“If it’s a drug, it’s been approved and it’s not illicit, why is there an overreach by the government into doctor-patient relationships,” he said.
You can watch the video below:
America has one of the best opioid drug supply chains and we must as a nation, protect the pharmaceutical companies' supply chain. If elected to Congress, former Obama era FDA regulation expert Rikin Mehta says he will make sure supply chains are protected.
Posted by NJ Political Insider on Friday, January 31, 2020