Tennessee, in conjunction with a 41-state coalition against opioids, filed subpoenas with eight opioid manufacturers and distributors on Tuesday.
Beyond seeking documents from the manufacturers, authorities are also investigating the distribution practices of McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, who, according to Healey, collectively manage roughly 90 percent of the nation's opioid distribution.
The group also served a supplemental investigative subpoena to Purdue Pharma.
North Carolina's Attorney General says he is expanding an investigation into the role drug manufacturers may have played in the rising opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 Tennessee had the third-highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the country, behind only Alabama and Arkansas. "Allergan's two branded opioid products - Norco and Kadian - account for less than 0.08% of all opioid products prescribed in 2016 in the U.S. These products came to Allergan through legacy acquisitions and have not been promoted since 2012, in the case of Kadian, and since 2003, in the case of Norco". In its lawsuit against Purdue, the state Attorney General's Office claims that Purdue spent hundreds of millions of dollars each year to "falsely deny or trivialize the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits of opioids" and was able to persuade doctors that opioids were not addictive.
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Endo International said its policy is "not to comment on current litigation or investigations".
"Opioid addiction is a public health menace to SC".
Teva Pharmaceuticals said, "We are committed to working with the healthcare community, regulators and public officials to collaboratively find solutions".
Some of the companies have already indicated a willingness to cooperate with the states, the Utah Attorney General's Office said.
"In 2015, health care providers wrote enough opioid prescriptions to medicate every American around the clock for three weeks, and on the average day, more than 650,000 opioids prescriptions are dispensed in the US", wrote the Attorney General's Office.