September 19, 2017

Authorities in 39 states investigate opioid industry

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Attorney General George Jepsen.

Attorneys general in 39 states, including Connecticut, say they have expanded their probe of the opioid industry, which began with Purdue Pharma, to include four other drugmakers and three distribution companies.

A bipartisan coalition of AGs are now investigating Endo International, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc. and Allergan Inc., they announced Tuesday.

They are also seeking information from opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

"While some states have taken individual legal actions, the overwhelming majority of attorneys general, from both parties and all parts of the country, have now agreed to work together to investigate the marketing, distribution and sale of opioids, and to take further coordinated legal action as appropriate," Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement.

They have also asked Purdue Pharma for more information on opioid prescriptions, he said.

The opioid crisis affects every state and kills more than 90 Americans every day, Jepsen said.

Opioids – both prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide and in Connecticut.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is projecting that more than 1,000 people will die of opioid-related overdoses in Connecticut in 2017.

Read more

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