/Hood sues three major opioid distributors

Hood sues three major opioid distributors

Thursday’s suit was filed in Hinds County Circuit Court. It alleges that Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Corporation failed monitor, detect, investigate, refuse to report and refuse suspicious orders. This is in violation of the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. Hood stated that Mississippi had enough opioids to supply 61 pills per child, man, and woman in 2017. Hood stated that if distributors had been paying attention to supply rates they would have realized the amount of pills Mississippi has is far too high for a state as large as Mississippi. In 2017, Mississippi saw an increase in overdose deaths due to opioids. More than 3.3 million opioid prescriptions were issued in Mississippi. This is equivalent to approximately two months supply for each Mississippi resident. It’s high time the unprofessional marketing tactics of opioid distributors were addressed. Marshall Fisher, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety said that their deceitful practices have caused the death of thousands of Americans and cost lives in Mississippi. Hood stated that he wants to stop the flow of opioids entering the state, which are then being diverted to illegal markets. This makes them available to anyone who doesn’t have a prescription. According to the complaint, if distributors had been more vigilant about monitoring prescriptions, the opioid crisis would have not reached its current level. “A distributor of drug is required to notify the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) if they ship a lot of drugs to a pharmacy, such as in Mississippi. This is an unusual number. Hood stated that they have the same duty as banks with suspicious transactions when he announced his investigation into the companies last September. Others have already taken legal action against drug distributors. Two counties were represented by West Virginia attorneys last year. West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid overdoses. Hood is currently investigating three distributors who together distribute 85 per cent of all prescriptions in the country. The West Virginia attorney general settled lawsuits against opioid distributors who violated state consumer protection laws earlier this year. Cardinal Health was fined $20 million, and AmerisourceBergen $16million. According to The Washington Post, both companies denied any wrongdoing. Hood, like West Virginia’s attorney-general, said that he is also seeking millions of dollars in reimbursements for the devastating effects opioids have had on Mississippi communities. In Mississippi, 481 people died from opioid-related overdoses between 2013 and 2016. Between 2012 and 2016, the Bureau of Narcotics investigated 300 percent more heroin cases. John Dowdy (director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics) stated that he supports the use of every resource of the state to fight this epidemic. “These and other lawsuits brought forward by the State could result awards that would provide funding for law enforcement and treatment efforts throughout the state.” This investigation follows a December 2015 lawsuit filed by the state against 17 opioids producers. The suit claims that the companies in question lied to Mississippi’s Division of Medicaid and doctors about the addictive nature of opioids in order to increase profits. This lawsuit is currently pending at Hinds County Chancery Court. 2017 was the year Gov. Phil Bryant created a task force to provide recommendations on how to combat the nascent Mississippi opioid epidemic. Bryant didn’t respond to a request for comment.