A major national investigation was launched last month that will seek to discover if U.S. drug manufacturers and distributors acted unlawfully in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids, according to a press release by the Alabama Attorney General’s office on Sept. 19. Steve Marshall and 40 other state attorneys general are combining resources to tackle an opioid crisis that has been described as “national emergency” by President Donald Trump. Attorney General Marshall said in the release:
Earlier this year I joined with fellow attorneys general in investigating what role opioid manufacturers may have had in creating or prolonging the opioid abuse epidemic, and to establish the appropriate course of action to help solve this crisis. Our investigation continues as we seek information from drug manufacturers and distributors to help determine whether they engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids.
The various AG offices around the country have already served investigative subpoenas for documents and information on companies such as Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan, and their related entities, as well as a supplemental Civil Investigative Demand on Purdue Pharma, according to the Alabama Attorney General’s office. The attorneys general also sent information demand letters to opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson requesting documents about their opioid distribution business. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015 including 736 in Alabama, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.