Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan announced today that a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general from across the country have expanded their demands for information and documents from both the manufacturers and the distributors of prescription opioid drugs.
According to the Attorney General's Office, the group served Civil Investigative Demands - a kind of subpoena for documents - on Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan and their related entities, as well as a supplemental Civil Investigative Demand on Purdue Pharma Tuesday morning.
"Too often, prescription opioids are the on-ramp to addiction for millions of Americans", Schneiderman said.
Many of those deaths involve an opioid, either a legally prescribed narcotic or an illicit drug like heroin or fentanyl.
Attorneys general from 35 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are urging health insurers to review their policies for pain management treatment to spark higher use of alternatives to opioid prescriptions.
A number of states have filed their own lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors: Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico and SC.
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"Our subpoenas and letters seek to uncover whether or not there was deception involved, if manufacturers misled doctors and patients about the efficacy and addictive power of these drugs", New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said during his press conference announcing the investigation.
Cardinal Health said, "As a pharmaceutical distributor, we operate as part of a multi-faceted and highly regulated healthcare system".
Some of the companies have already indicated a willingness to cooperate with the states, the Utah Attorney General's Office said.
"We lost over 1,100 Virginians to the opioid crisis just past year, and everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to ensure we don't lose another life to this devastating epidemic", said Attorney General Mark Herring.
Teva Pharmaceuticals said, "We are committed to working with the healthcare community, regulators and public officials to collaboratively find solutions".