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Irony of It All: Ex-DEA Official Now Paid to Advise one of the Largest Opiod Manufacturers in U.S.

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Demetra Ashley (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The irony of it all is not lost.

A former senior DEA who testified before Congress on the government’s efforts to stop the opioid epidemic is now paid to advise one of the largest opioid manufacturers in the country, Purdue Pharma, NBC News reports. [2]

Demetra Ashley, the former acting assistant administrator of the DEA, left the agency last spring to start a consulting firm, Dashley Consulting, LLC.

In 2017,  she told a Senate committee about the need for a “robust regulatory program” to stop diversion of opioids and other controlled prescription drugs.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, is one of the opioid companies being sued by more than 1600 cities and counties for “grossly” misrepresenting “the risks of long-term use of those drugs for persons with chronic pain,” according to court documents, NBC reports.

Her Linkedin page says:

Demetra Ashley is a hands-on leader and advisor drawing on 30 years of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) experience to assist pharmacies, physicians, manufacturers, distributors, and other organizations working with controlled substances to navigate complexities and achieve full regulatory compliance.

A member of the Senior Executive Service, Demetra joined the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 30+ years ago, and she built a career as a diversion investigator with the Washington D.C. and Chicago field offices. In her role as Acting Assistant Administrator of the Diversion Control Division, she coordinated and oversaw 1,700 employees in identifying, investigating, and stopping the diversion of legally produced controlled substances.

To minimize the diversion of prescription drugs, she influenced regulations, created programs, revamped training initiatives, redesigned procedures, and collaborated widely with government and law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. She also represented the Diversion Control Division to the media, public, and 1.7M registrants nationwide, and delivered briefings to Congress, White House Staff, and Attorney Generals on prescription opioid issues.