Wagner Releases Plan To Combat Opioid Crisis

Vows to Take On Pharmaceutical Companies

2018 gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner  today announced a detailed, substantive plan to combat the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania during an address to the York Rotary Club. Wagner’s plan will dedicate $15 million to performance based treatment and recovery initiatives so that Pennsylvanians will see maximum results for the funding they are investing in the crisis. The plan calls for recouping money from pharmaceutical companies that have not paid their fair share for an epidemic they have helped exacerbate, and it will increase resources and strengthen penalties to assist law enforcement in stopping the flow of drugs into Pennsylvania and will implement the educational programs necessary to raise awareness and drive prevention efforts.

“Combating the opioid crisis ultimately comes down to having enough resources and using them wisely,” said Scott Wagner. “My plan will ensure that the investments we make to curb the epidemic are encouraging innovative treatment and recovery programs that work, and we will be able to drive more dollars into these efforts by finally having the courage to take on the drug companies that have gone unaccountable for far too long.”

Jeff Bartos added, “I have had the privilege to travel across the commonwealth over the past 20 months and meet thousands of people.  Throughout this time, I cannot recall a day when the opioid crisis was not discussed, nor can I remember a day when I did not meet at least one person who was personally impacted by the opioid crisis.  Scott and I are committed to solving this crisis, and it starts with collaborating more with local governments and expanding treatment and prevention programs. A crisis that impacts so many Pennsylvanians can only be solved with leadership that is committed to ensuring all stakeholders are on board with our proposed initiatives.”

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THE PLAN

The current drug crisis in Pennsylvania resulted in the reporting of 4,642 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016. Opioid misuse and addiction has an actual, real cost – in 2015 the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs estimated that Pennsylvania spent over $5 billion to address social and economic costs associated with drug addiction. Aside from the massive cost, it affects a multitude of critical issues in our Commonwealth including crime, child welfare, education, infectious diseases, and infant mortality.  Working to end this staggering epidemic, Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos will prioritize addressing this crisis in a meaningful way, guaranteeing long-term results.

  1. FUNDING AND SUPPORTING MEANINGFUL RECOVERY FOR PENNSYLVANIANS
  • Access to recovery support for those battling addiction is necessary in curbing this crisis.
  • Scott and Jeff will expand investment into our local communities, providing access to funding for programs that produce lasting results to end opioid dependence.
  1. TAKING ON OPIOID MANUFACTURERS
  • Pennsylvania has thus far refused to sue the opioid manufacturers whose approach to flooding the market with cheap opioids is at the root of the current problem.  
  • As governor, Scott will seek to hold manufacturers accountable and recoup state and local funds that have been drained by this epidemic.  
  1. CRACKING DOWN ON THE HEROIN AND ILLEGAL DRUG TRADE
  • Scott and Jeff will not only allocate additional funding for enforcement to dry up the supply of opioids available on the street, but they will also direct the focus of the criminal justice system on the suppliers of these illegal substances instead of on the users.   
  1. CURBING SUBSTANCE ABUSE THROUGH PREVENTION EFFORTS
  • Scott and Jeff know that efficient education and programs limiting overprescription of opioids can be effective tools in preventing addiction.  
  • They will continue to support changes in the law and implement educational programs, fighting this crisis by striving to prevent addiction from occuring in the first place.   
  1. EXPANDING ACCESS TO CRUCIAL TREATMENT PROGRAMS
  • Those in recovery from addiction should have an opportunity to access every possible support mechanism to provide the long-term and lasting results needed to combat addiction.  
  • Scott and Jeff will work to provide the help and resources necessary to those suffering with substance abuse.

Read the full plan HERE.

This is Wagner’s third major policy announcement of the campaign.

  • “Empowering Pennsylvania’s Economy” – will eliminate burdensome regulations that hold businesses back from growing and expanding, lower taxes on employers so they can hire more workers, bring accountability and certainty to the permitting process and capitalize on the natural resources Pennsylvania has at her disposal.
  • “An Opportunity For Every Child To Succeed” – will increase education funding by over $1 billion annually so that all districts will have the resources they need to succeed, will encourage the retooling and reinventing of curriculum so that all students are prepared to meet the needs of the modern workforce and will put in place the innovative programs necessary to obtain the best and brightest teachers.

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