Senator Susan Collins has had a long and lucrative relationship with the pharmaceutical companies fueling Maine’s opioid crisis. Over the course of her Senate career, she has accepted $110,000 from the corporate PACs of the top six opioid distributors in the country. Collins also accepted donations from the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma’s corporate PAC before the company pled guilty to criminal charges that they “fraudulently marketed” OxyContin when they misled doctors, patients and regulators about the drug’s addictive nature.
Senator Collins has used her position in the Senate to help shield opioid manufacturers from accountability and line their pockets with billions in tax breaks. In 2018, she voted to block an amendment that would have created penalties for pharmaceutical companies that illegally marketed and distributed opioid products. Collins also backed the GOP corporate tax giveaway that gave $7 billion in tax breaks to four of the largest pharmaceutical companies, including opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, Collins and her husband have even personally profited off of companies responsible for the opioid epidemic right here in Maine. In 2013, Collins’ husband sold up to $30,000 in shares of AmerisourceBergen for a profit. As recently as 2018, he owned up to $50,000 in shares of Johnson & Johnson. Both AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson have both been sued by Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland for their contributions to the opioid crisis.
“Senator Collins has made her priorities perfectly clear: she’d rather keep raking in the campaign cash from opioid manufacturers than do anything to hold them accountable,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “The opioid epidemic has devastated our communities for far too long -- it’s time we elected a Senator who won’t cave to big pharma.”