A measure introduced in Congress Tuesday would prohibit marketing that suggests opioids aren’t addictive and create criminal liability for pharmaceutical executives at companies found to have contributed to the nation’s opioid painkiller addiction epidemic.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reuters reported.
Sanders, who ran as a Democrat for president in 2016, doesn’t have any cosponsors for the measure yet, and a Republican-controlled Congress isn’t very likely to pass the proposal, the news service noted.
Companies that falsely advertise that opioids aren’t addictive would be fined 25 percent of the profits on the drug under the bill.
“At a time when local, state and federal government are spending many billions of dollars a year, those people will be held accountable and asked to contribute to help us address the crisis,” Sanders told Reuters. “It shouldn’t just be the taxpayer that has to pay for the damage that they did.”
More than 63,600 people died because of drug overdoses in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several other ideas on how to curb opioid addiction are contained in various pieces of legislation Congress is considering.