Crime Stopper says drug companies should pay up

Says they owe for their role in the opioid crisis

Johnstown, Pa. - Senator Bob Casey joined us for a live town hall meeting Wednesday evening. The senator took live questions from news stations across Pennsylvania.

Questions ranged from healthcare, to jobs, to college tuition. From our WTAJ studios, Gary Martin from Crime Stoppers in Johnstown asked the senator about prescription drug companies and their role in the opioid crisis.

When Martin asked his question to Senator Casey, he doesn't feel like he got an answer. He wants to see pharmaceutical companies held accountable for their role in this crisis.

He said, "I thought that he would have said that,  'We're looking into this, we're are trying to have them play a part or role,' but I didn't hear that."

Martin sees this epidemic first hand with his work with Cambria County Crime Stoppers and the Push Out the Pusher program. With the role that prescription pain killers have played in this epidemic, Martin says it's time drug companies take on some of the burden of solving the issue.   

He explained, "It shouldn't totally be focused on the public tax payer again footing the bill for a problem that has been created by the pharmaceutical companies."

Martin wants to see lawmakers like Senator Casey pass legislation that would force drug companies to contribute to the costs of rehabilitation and law enforcement connected to this epidemic.  

Martin said, "I'm not saying that it is totally the pharmaceutical companies but they played a part and I think there should be some ramifications that they to back into the system to help solve this issue."

Martin said that he was happy to be able to ask Senator Casey about pharmaceutical companies and hopes that maybe it'll spark a conversation between all lawmakers to address what he sees as the number one issue.  

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