Missouri AG Hawley announces subpoenas for 3 major opioid distributors

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley held a press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 31 on the Missouri opioid epidemic.

The conference was at the Missouri Attorney General's Office at 207 West High Street Jefferson City, Mo.

Hawley announced subpoenas for three major opioid distributors, which requires them to provide documents and information relevant to the Attorney General Office's ongoing investigation into the pharmaceutical industry's involvement in the opioid epidemic.

Those subpoenas were issued to Amerisource 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.

According to Claire McCaskill's office, in March she launched a wide-ranging investigation into opioid manufacturers also.

She requested information from the manufacturers of the nation's top five prescription opioid products by 2015 sales (Purdue, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Insys, Mylan and Depomed), including sales and marketing materials, internal addiction studies, details on compliance with government settlements and donations to third-party advocacy groups.

In July, she expanded the investigation and this fall announced the first round of findings.

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