(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he is seeking documents and information from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids as part of multistate investigations into the opioid epidemic. This information will allow Attorney General Stein and 40 of his colleagues to evaluate whether the manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale and distribution of prescription opioids. Attorney General Stein is on the executive committee and is taking a leadership role in these investigations.
“The opioid epidemic is among the biggest public health threats we face today,” said Attorney General Stein. “In addition to my work in advocating for policies and funding to promote prevention, treatment and enforcement, it is critical that we look at how this crisis was created and has exploded. I will hold accountable any drug manufacturer or distributor that played a role in creating or prolonging this epidemic and require that they become part of the solution.”
Nationwide and in North Carolina, opioids – prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths, which now top car accidents as the number one cause of accidental death. In North Carolina, it is estimated that nearly four people die each day from accidental drug overdose. The Attorneys General are investigating opioid manufacturers Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan, and their related entities, as well continuing their previously announced investigation into Purdue Pharma.
Likewise, the Attorneys General are investigating opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson requesting documents about their opioid distribution practices.
The Attorneys General are working to determine what role the opioid manufacturers and distributors may have played in creating or prolonging this epidemic and, if culpable, determine the appropriate remedy to address this crisis.
The investigation into the manufacturers centers on the possibility that patients and doctors were misled about the addictive nature of these drugs. The investigation into distributors seeks information related to whether they fulfilled their duty to raise red flags about pharmacies’ suspicious drug orders.
Background on Attorney General Stein and the opioid epidemic:
· 5 Takeaways from North Carolina Attorney General’s Visit to Iredell
· Quiet health crisis plagues North Carolina
· Arrests Alone Won’t Solve Opioid Problem, State AG Stein Says Here
· NC bill limiting availability of prescription pain killers signed into law
· Attorney General Josh Stein Holds Opioid Roundtable
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484