Hawley steps up fight against opioid distributors
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley continues to widen his fight against the ongoing opioid crisis today announcing the issuance of civil investigative demands to three major opioid distributors. These investigative demands, the equivalent of a subpoena, require the distributors to provide documents and information relevant to the Attorney General Office’s ongoing investigation into the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement in the opioid epidemic.
The Office issued investigative demands to Amerisouth Bergen Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corporation.
"It has become clear that opioid distributors had opportunities to stem the tide of the opioid crisis, but instead chose to look the other way while making millions of dollars in profit," Hawley said. "Opioid distributors will not receive a free pass from my office. I am committed to holding all parties responsible for this epidemic and working toward solutions that will protect and heal our communities."
In June, Attorney General Hawley filed one of the largest lawsuits in Missouri history against three opioid manufacturers alleging that these manufacturers fraudulently misrepresented the serious risks posed by opioids. The lawsuit named Purdue Pharma, Endo Health and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The Office was among the first State Attorney General offices to file a lawsuit addressing this crisis.
Following this action, the Office sent Civil Investigative Demands to seven other opioid manufacturers, in August. The documents requested in the CIDs will help determine how widespread the fraud is and whether other pharmaceutical companies need to be targeted for their contribution to Missouri’s opioid crisis.