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After drug distributor charged, Trump sets speech on opioid fight


U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

President Donald Trump is expected to tout his fight against opioid abuse in remarks in Atlanta on Wednesday, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.


America’s opioid epidemic, especially damaging in rural areas where Trump is popular, has been a focus for the Republican president.


Little has come of Trump’s calls for executing drug dealers, but on other fronts the administration has taken some action. Trump has worked to boost funding for treatment and raise awareness of the problem.


On Tuesday, the government charged Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc and executives of the major drug distributor. The company agreed to pay $20 million and enter a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges it turned a blind eye to thousands of suspicious orders for opioids.


Deaths from opioid overdose in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017 from a year earlier to more than 49,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Reuters

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