Big Pharma Faces Criminal Charges for Contributing to Opioid Epidemic

On November 26, 2019, Brooklyn federal prosecutors subpoenaed six major pharmaceutical companies for potentially willfully and knowingly pushing mass quantities of narcotic prescription pain killers to communities with increased opioid addiction rates.

The prosecutors are investigating to understand whether these drug companies violated the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The CSA requires that pharmaceutical companies report all opioid drug orders and prescriptions that have increased in frequency, are unusually large or could be considered suspicious.

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Six Pharmaceutical Opioid Makers Face Federal Probe into Addiction Epidemic

The CSA was established to prevent the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. It is a statute that established federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain substances is regulated. The companies currently being probed by the federal prosecutors are Teva, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson, Amneal, and Mallinckrodt.

More investigations of other pharmaceutical companies are said to follow, as reported by the Wall Street Journal this past week.

The probe is in its early stages, and prosecutors are expected to subpoena additional companies in the coming months…executives and companies can face civil charges under the Controlled Substances Act for not reporting signs, like suspicious orders, that could indicate drugs are being used for nonmedical purposes. Criminal charges require prosecutors to prove an effort to willfully and intentionally avoid such requirements, legal experts said. (WSJ)

In the last decade, Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. was charged and prosecuted for violating federal narcotics laws. The company illegally distributed prescription opioids to pharmacies it knew were dispensing drugs to people without legitimate medical needs. Later the company entered a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a 20 million dollar fine.

The recent subpoenas filed by Brooklyn prosecutors against the named six companies are part of the trend to utilize criminal laws to prosecute and fine pharmaceutical companies for encouraging the opioid crisis through negligence. It is essential to understand the severity of the opioid crisis. Over 400,000 people have lost their lives to their opioid addiction. To date, there are still millions of addicts who require professional opiate drug addiction treatment in the United States.

Opioid Drug Manufacturers Face Federal Probe

The most important reality that people need to learn concerning these recent federal subpoenas is that the rate of addiction is fueling the problem. Without people to demand drugs, the problem would not exist. The type of prescription drugs that these pharmaceutical companies are being investigated for include: Oxycodone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opana, Percocet, Dilaudid, Methadone, Demerol Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin are the most common.

In 2019, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people will die from an opiate-related overdose in the United States. The potential for an increase in addiction and death is likely with pharmaceutical companies, like the ones being investigated, making these addictive drugs more available. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, Allure Detox offers a medically-assisted detoxification program. Contact us for a confidential treatment assessment around the clock.