Distributors, criminal probe of opioid makers opened by United States’ prosecutors

Distributors, criminal probe of opioid makers opened by United States’ prosecutors

Federal prosecutors launched a criminal investigation of whether pharmaceutical companies knowingly permitted opioid painkillers to enter U.S. communities, the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the issue.
At least six companies issued subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of New York’s Eastern District.
The Journal reported that the list includes, in addition to AmerisourceBergen Corp and McKesson Corp, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Mallinckrodt Plc, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Amneal, Teva and McKesson’s shares fell by 3 to 7%, while Amerisource Bergen and Mallinckrodt fell slightly.
The subpoenas were linked to a federal probe from Brooklyn, but a spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Attorney refused to comment.
Turning the tide
The investigating drug companies did not answer to Reuters ‘ requests for comment instantly.
In recent regulatory filings, however, Teva, J&J, Amneal, and Mallinckrodt revealed that they had received submissions from the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, which the companies defined as their distribution of opioid drugs, as well as anti-diversion policies to prevent unauthorized sales of drugs.
The companies also said that it was part of a wider survey of monitoring programs to be conducted by manufacturers and retailers under the Controlled Substances Act.
Teva, Mallinckrodt as well as J&J also stated that they had received submissions from the New York State Department of Financial Services as part of an industry-wide investigation into the effect of opioid prescriptions on health premiums in New York.
Opioid manufacturers, suppliers, and drug chains have stood up against thousands of lawsuits from state attorneys general, local governments, including class actions accusing them of causing an epidemic of addiction.
While, at the B’More Youth Summit co-hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump spoke about opioid addiction.