Opioids, Addiction and Death: 41 State AGs Demand Answers

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America’s opioid manufacturers may soon reap what they’ve sown.

A collaborative effort by the attorneys general (AG) in 41 states seeks to investigate the manufacturers and distributors of America’s highly addictive opioids.

The state attorney generals have subpoenaed five major opioid manufacturers and three drug distributors, requesting background on how these companies marketed and distributed their prescription opioids throughout the country.

Opioid manufacturers and distributors investigated

Initiated by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Tuesday, the bipartisan coalition of state AGs issued subpoenas to the following pharmaceutical manufacturers and their related subsidiaries:

  •      Allergan Inc.
  •      Endo International plc
  •      Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  •      Teva Pharmaceuticals
  •      Purdue Pharmaceutical

Responsible for approximately 90 percent of the nation’s distribution network, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson have also come under the microscope of scrutiny for their questionable distribution practices.

drug overdoses by state

Drug overdose death data courtesy of the CDC

The ‘on-ramp’ to addiction and death

As New York’s AG explained, “too often, prescription opioids are the on-ramp to addiction for millions of Americans.” Schneiderman, whose office has pledged to utilize every asset available to crush America’s opioid epidemic stated, “We are committed to getting to the bottom of the broken system that has fueled the epidemic and taken far too many lives.”

On board with this life-saving inquiry, Florida AG Pam Bondi issued a press release on Tuesday asking the opioid makers to comply … or else.

“This far-reaching multistate investigation is designed to get the answers we need as quickly as possible. The industry must do the right thing. If they do not, we are prepared to litigate,” said Bondi.

A 2017 report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows “1,616 individuals (440 more deaths than the first half of 2015) died with at least one prescription drug in their system that was identified as the cause of death. These drugs may have been mixed with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and/or alcohol.”

A quiet killer by any name, opioids can rob you of your loved ones in less than 90 minutes, according to Florida Department of Health.

Photo courtesy of The.Comedian

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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