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Hawley expands opioid investigation to include 3 distributors

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced on Tuesday the issuance of civil investigative demands to three major opioid distributors.

The demands require the distributors to provide documents and information relevant to the investigation into the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement in the opioid epidemic.

“It has become clear that opioid distributors had opportunities to stem the tide of the opioid crisis, but instead chose to look the other way while making millions of dollars in profit,” Hawley said. “Opioid distributors will not receive a free pass from my office. I am committed to holding all parties responsible for this epidemic and working toward solutions that will protect and heal our communities.”

In June, Hawley filed one of the largest lawsuits against three opioid manufacturers, alleging that the manufacturers fraudulently misrepresented the serious risks posed by opioids. The lawsuit named Purdue Pharma, Endo Health and Hanssen Pharmaceuticals.

Hawley’s office sent civil investigative demands to seven other opioid manufacturers in August. The demands will help determine how widespread the alleged fraud may be and whether other pharmaceutical companies need to be targeted for contributions to the opioid crisis.

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