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Hawai‘i Joins Investigation Into Opioid Epidemic

September 19, 2017, 9:56 AM HST
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Hawai‘i has joined a bipartisan coalition of states seeking documents and information today from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids.

This is part of a multi-state investigation into the nationwide opioid epidemic.

This information will let state attorneys general evaluate whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale and distribution of opioids.

Forty-one state attorneys general are participating in the multi-state investigations.

In Hawai‘i and across the country, opioids—both prescribed and illicit—are a main driver of drug overdose deaths.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, including 169 in Hawai‘i. Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

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“Under Gov. David Ige’s leadership, my office and the state health department are determined to educate the public here and enforce laws to prevent the spread of opioid abuse in Hawai‘i,” Attorney General Chin said.

The attorneys general served investigative subpoenas for documents and information—also known as Civil Investigative Demands—on Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan and their related entities, as well as a supplemental Civil Investigative Demand on Purdue Pharma.

The attorneys general also sent information demand letters to opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, requesting documents about their opioid distribution business.

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