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>> Okay, thank you very much. I'd also like to ask you to bring a major lawsuit against the drug companies on opioids.>> As overdose deaths continue to climb, President Trump says he wants to take drug makers to court. His administration saying it will slash the amount of pills allowed on the market.
>> People go into a hospital with a broken arm, they get the arm fixed, but they're now a drug addict.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where the Federal Government is reporting that a record 72,000 people died of drug overdoses last year. That's one every eight minutes. More people now die from drugs than from car crashes and guns combined.
It's a crisis that's decades in the making, the Trump administration is now taking steps to address it. But experts say don't expect this crisis to ease anytime soon. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration saying it will cut production quotas for some of the most commonly abused drugs. Including oxycodone which was marketed as a supposedly safe pain reliever starting in the 1990s.
Since then, opioid prescriptions have more than tripled, the drug industry producing enough of the painkillers to give every American adult a three week supply. The DEA now aiming to cut quantities by 10%, drawing bipartisan praise in Congress. At a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Trump pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take those drug makers to court.
Following the lead of states like Kentucky, which have won multimillion dollar settlements from companies like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson. Charging that they did not accurately portray the risk of addiction. Those companies standing by their practices. Trump also urged Sessions to crack down on imports of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin.
>> And I'd like to do whatever you can do legally to stop it from China and from Mexico.>> Washington is just now addressing this issue even though state and local governments have been ringing the alarm bell for more than a decade, the crisis most severe in areas where Trump has his strongest support.
The president declared a national public health emergency last year. We're now seeing some results from that action.