Drug czar setback

President Trump's nominee for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday in the wake of reports that as a congressman he did the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry, leaving the White House without a leader for its fight against opioid abuse just days before the President was planning to roll out a new strategy.

By PETER BAKER in Washington
  • Published 19.10.17
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Washington: President Trump's nominee for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday in the wake of reports that as a congressman he did the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry, leaving the White House without a leader for its fight against opioid abuse just days before the President was planning to roll out a new strategy.

Representative Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania who had been tapped to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, pulled out after news stories about his efforts to pass an industry-supported law aimed at undercutting enforcement efforts at the same time opioid abuse has mushroomed into a national epidemic.

The collapse of Marino's nomination highlighted the Trump administration's troubles formulating a response to a crisis that the President has called unlike any in the nation's history.

Nine months after taking office vowing to make the opioid epidemic one of his top priorities, Trump has yet to unveil his promised campaign.

Marino's withdrawal also threw a spotlight on the multibillion-dollar drug industry's influence in Washington and President Barack Obama's own response to opioid abuse.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE