Activists Slam Ryan Costello’s Entanglement In DEA/Pharma Scandal

Today, activists and community leaders held a press conference outside Representative Ryan Costello’s office to hold him accountable for cosponsoring a bill that crippled the DEA’s ability to stem the flow of prescription narcotics—selling his constituents out for $300,000 in Pharma money at the same fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania were skyrocketing 37% in 2016 alone.

Profiled in a Washington Post/60 Minutes bombshell expose, the harmful bill prompted Rep. Tom Marino to withdraw his nomination as drug czar The harmful bill had only six cosponsors and Costello was one of them. Shamefully, Costello was whipping for this dangerous bill while the state was in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania increased 37%, with 85% of those deaths due to illicit or prescription opioids.

It’s even worse in Costello’s district—in Chester and Montgomery Counties, fatal overdoses increased 54% and 51%, respectively.

Speakers at the event were Internist and Candidate for Chester County Coroner Christina VandePol, Ruth Ann Davidson, Mother of son with addiction, Bucks County Business Owner and recovering addict Michael Doyle, and Co-founder and CEO of Prescription Advisory Systems & Technology Richard Bunker, JR.

“Representative Costello sponsored this shameful bill for $300,000 from Pharma,” said Mike Doyle. “We need a representative who won’t sell his constituents out to the highest bidder.”

“We are in the midst of an opioid crisis, and Ryan Costello is making it harder to keep prescription narcotics off the streets. The fact that he sides with special interests instead of Pennsylvania families shows exactly why he needs to be replaced,” said Ruth Ann Davidson.

“Representative Costello’s actions will only deepen the opioid crisis, which is devastating our communities,” said Lisa Longo. “I want Costello to look into our eyes and explain why $300,000 was the right price to throw us under the bus.”

When the Pharmaceutical industry wanted to cripple the DEA’s ability to keep prescription narcotics off the street, they knew to call Representative Ryan Costello. And they got results for their money.