Attorney General Seeks Documents from Opioid Distributors

[COLUMBIA, S.C.] – September 19, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general seeks documents and information from distributors of prescription opioids as part of a multistate investigation into the nationwide opioid epidemic. This information will enable the attorneys general to evaluate whether distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. There are 41 attorneys general participating in the multistate investigations.

Nationwide and in South Carolina, opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, including 761 in South Carolina, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

“Opioid addiction is a public health menace to South Carolina. We cannot let history record that we stood by while this epidemic rages,” said Attorney General Wilson.
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 distributors may have played in creating or prolonging this epidemic and determine the appropriate course of action to help resolve this crisis.

Attorney General Wilson also wants to assure the residents of South Carolina that he is continuing to actively work towards addressing this opioid epidemic. On August 15, 2017, he filed a historic lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs. The suit was filed in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas and alleges that Purdue unfairly and deceptively marketed opioids, which helped create and fuel South Carolina’s opioid epidemic.

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