Officials Employ Law Commonly Used For Drug Dealers To Open Criminal Probe Against Opioid Distributors
Prosecutors are examining whether the companies violated the federal Controlled Substances Act, which requires companies to report orders of controlled substances that are unusually large or frequent, or that substantially deviate from norm. The probe is in its early stages.
U.S. Prosecutors Open Criminal Probe Of Opioid Makers, Distributors
Federal prosecutors are investigating six pharmaceutical companies for potential criminal charges in connection with shipping big quantities of opioid painkillers that contributed to a healthcare crisis, according to regulatory filings. Five companies have received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York as part of the investigation: drugmakers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Mallinckrodt Plc, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc, and distributor McKesson Corp, regulatory filings showed. (11/26)
The Wall Street Journal:
Federal Prosecutors Launch Criminal Probe Of Opioid Makers, Distributors
The investigation, if it results in criminal charges, could become the largest prosecution yet of drug companies alleged to have contributed to the opioid epidemic, escalating the legal troubles of businesses that already face complex, multibillion-dollar civil litigation in courts across the country. Prosecutors are examining whether the companies violated the federal Controlled Substances Act, a statute that federal prosecutors have begun using against opioid makers and distributors this year. (Ramey, 11/26)
Opioid Makers, Distributors Investigated By U.S. Prosecutors
U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn are looking into whether companies violated the Controlled Substances Act, which regulates how companies manufacture, import, possess and distribute certain substances that have the potential for abuse, including opioid painkillers, according to the filings. (Griffin and Flanagan, 11/26)
In other news on the opioid epidemic —
Judge Partly Vacates Convictions Of Opioid Maker Insys' Founder, Executives
A federal judge on Tuesday partially overturned the convictions of Insys Therapeutics Inc's founder and three former executives accused of bribing doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid, but declined to disturb the remainder of the jury's verdict. U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston ruled the evidence prosecutors presented at trial did not support finding that John Kapoor and the others intended for doctors to prescribe the drug, Subsys, to patients who did not need it. (Raymond, 11/26)
Los Angeles Times:
Are Drug-Addicted Mothers Liable For Babies’ Deaths?
[Chelsea] Becker is at the center of a legal and ethical debate over the criminalization of drug abuse and pregnancy that’s playing out across the country. Legal experts have raised questions about how the justice system is policing women’s bodies and treating mothers who struggle with addiction. California’s penal code defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being or unborn child. The statute was amended to include the word “fetus” in 1970. Legislators made the change after the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Stockton man charged with murder for beating his estranged pregnant wife and causing her to lose the baby. (Wigglesworth, 11/26)
The Associated Press:
Trump Donates 3rd-Quarter Salary To Help Fight Opioid Crisis
President Donald Trump is donating his third-quarter salary to help tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic. A White House official says Trump has given the $100,000 he would be paid in the quarter to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, which oversees federal public health offices and programs, including the surgeon general’s office. (Miller, 11/26)
The Washington Post:
The Post Released The DEA’s Data On Pain Pills. Here’s What Local Journalists Are Using It For.
On July 18, The Washington Post made publicly accessible part of a Drug Enforcement Administration database that tracked the path of every pain pill sold in the United States between 2006 and 2012. Since then, we have registered more than 38,000 downloads of the data, in whole or in part, and over 550 messages from local journalists, educators, researchers, federal and local government workers, health-care professionals, volunteers, advocates and citizens. Our hope in releasing the data was that local reporters, in particular, would use it to tell stories about the impact of the opioid crisis in their communities. (Sanchez Diez, 11/26)