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. Recent efforts by the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general represent an expansion into the investigation of the nationwide opioid epidemic. A clear majority of the states' chief legal officers are now pooling resources and coordinating across party lines to address the most pressing public health crisis affecting our country, and doing so with a broad focus on multiple entities at both the manufacturer and distributor levels.
The multi-state investigation by the attorneys general currently includes the following pharmaceutical manufacturers and their related entities:
- Purdue Pharma
- Endo International plc
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc.
- Allergan Inc.
The attorneys general are also seeking documents and information about distribution practices from the following opioid distribution companies, who together manage approximately 90 percent of the nation's opioid distribution:
- Cardinal Health
Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan said, “The opioid crisis has been a top priority since my first day in office. I have long advocated for greater tools for prevention, intervention, treatment, and enforcement in addressing this crisis. Corporate accountability is equally important and I intend to work with attorneys general across this country to perform a thorough investigation and protect Vermonters.”
There are 41 attorneys general participating in the overall multistate investigations, which are organized into subgroups focusing on manufacturers and distributors. Vermont is taking a leadership role in two subgroups focusing on opioid manufacturers and is also participating with respect to the investigation of distributors.
Opioids – both prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide and in Vermont. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths nationwide in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. In Vermont, there were 106 opioid related deaths last year, a record high. Seventy-five people died of opiate overdoses in Vermont during 2015.
Vermont AG: Sep 19, 2017
by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The state of Vermont has virtually eliminated the waitlist for those needing to receive opioid treatment, but officials admit that victory over substance abuse is far from at hand. Still, the politicians and health care administrators and providers who gathered at the Howard Center in Burlington agreed that today’s announcement was significant.