Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tennessee Leads Opioid Investigation

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 11:57 AM

click to enlarge Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery
  • Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery
Tennessee will help lead a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general from across the country to investigate the opioid “epidemic.”

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Thursday that the coalition will conduct “comprehensive investigations into the widespread prescribing and use of opioids, as well as the role parties involved in the manufacture and distribution of opioids may have played in creating or prolonging this problem.”

Drug manufacturers will be a focus of the investigation, Slatery said, to determine if they have illegally marketed and/or sold their drugs. However, he would not identify any specific targets of the investigation.

The coalition will use its “vast investigative resources,” including subpoenas for documents and testimony “to identify and hold accountable those parties responsible for the opioid epidemic.”

“There is not a single community in Tennessee, or a region of the country for that matter, that has not witnessed the devastating impact of opioid abuse,” Slatery said in a statement. “At the appropriate time, you can be assured Tennessee will take decisive action against those parties responsible for harming so many families.”

Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the coalition of attorneys general. Opioids were responsible for 1,451 deaths in Tennessee in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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