This is the second day of the hearing for Robert C. McElroy, who faces felony charges related to the opioid epidemic.
He has pleaded not guilty.
He is accused of helping the company, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, get an emergency distribution license from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
McElray is charged with aiding and abetting McElty’s alleged scheme.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a very serious situation,” McElry told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
He was the only witness to testify.
The hearing comes after the Trump administration moved to suspend a portion of the DEA’s oversight of OxyContin production in the United States.
In a memo issued on Wednesday, acting deputy administrator Andrew Bynum warned that the agency’s suspension of the license would be “a direct blow to OxyContin manufacturers in the U, particularly if it continues.”
In a statement to NPR, the Justice Department said that the administration was reviewing the DOJ’s decision and that it is “reviewing its next steps.”
McElvy told the House panel that the DEA was “stupid” for doing this.
“They are stupid to say that the entire industry is going to collapse,” he said.
“This is a massive industry, and if we do not have this license, then the industry will implode.
The reason I say this is because we know that OxyContin is not just for the sick, it is for the dying.”
A spokesperson for McElvie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The FDA should have been aware of this fraud in the first place,” said McElvey, who was also the deputy commissioner for OxyContin at Purdue Pharma.
He said that if the company had been more diligent, it would have found out about the fraud.
“If the FDA had done the right thing, this would never have happened,” Mcelvie said.
The opioid crisis has left millions of Americans in pain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 17 million Americans have been prescribed OxyContin in 2017 alone.
The number of prescriptions has nearly tripled in the past decade.
“I think the opioid issue is just a huge concern,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
“It’s not just in America, it’s across the globe.
We need to do something about it.”
The hearing is expected to last at least an hour.