Tenn. lead coalition seeks documents from opioid manufacturers, distributors
Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced Tuesday a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general seeks documents and information from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids as part of multistate investigations into the nationwide opioid epidemic. This information will enable the attorneys general to evaluate whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. Tennessee is leading the group of 41 attorneys general participating in the multistate investigations.
“The opioid crisis impacts all of us, and is a threat to families in every community in Tennessee and across the country,” Slatery said. “We will use all resources available to identify and hold accountable those parties responsible. There is too much at stake not to attack this problem from all sides.”
The attorneys general served investigative subpoenas for documents and information, also known as Civil Investigative Demands, on Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan, and their related entities, as well as a supplemental Civil Investigative Demand on Purdue Pharma.
Likewise, the attorneys general sent information demand letters to opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson requesting documents about their opioid distribution business.
The attorneys general are using these investigative tools to determine what role the opioid manufacturers and distributors may have played in creating or prolonging this epidemic and determine the appropriate course of action to help resolve this crisis.
Nationwide and in Tennessee, opioids — prescription and illicit — are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016, the highest number of such deaths recorded in state history.