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Hawley expands investigations into pharmaceutical industry

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m.: ABC17 News just received a statement from McKesson Corp. in relation to the attorney general’s investigative demands. You can find their full comment below.

“McKesson has received Attorney General Hawley’s request for information and is reviewing it. We will respond in a timely matter.

“McKesson delivers life-saving medicines to millions of Americans each day and is committed to maintaining – and continuously enhancing – strong programs designed to detect and prevent opioid diversion within the pharmaceutical supply chain. We’ve also shared forward-looking policy recommendations with the President’s opioid commission, including offering additional specificity on two of those ideas that we believe can make a meaningful impact on the epidemic. This complicated, multi-faceted public health crisis cannot be solved by any one participant. It needs to be addressed through a comprehensive approach that includes doctors, patients, pharmacists, insurance companies, government payers (such as Medicaid and Medicare), distributors, manufacturers, law enforcement and regulators.

“We remain committed to engaging with all who share our dedication to acting with urgency to address this epidemic and working together to end this national crisis.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Attorney General Josh Hawley has brought three more pharmaceutical companies into his investigation into the opioid epidemic in Missouri.

Hawley’s office has issued civil investigative demands, a type of subpoena, to three major opioid distribu tors: AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp.

Hawley said his office believes large shipments of opioids were made to outlets including pharmacies and internet pharmacies but the companies did not report them.

“Do not stall, do not stonewall,” Hawley said. “If you really have nothing to hide, prove it. Turn over the evidence we have requested and cooperate full y with our investigation.”

ABC17 News reached out to all three companies and so far has received comment from AmerisourceBergen. You can find the company’s full statement below.

“We welcome the opportunity to engage with Attorney General Hawley and the people of Missouri, as well as fellow members of the wholesale distribution community, the wider pharmaceutical supply chain and law enforcement and regulatory professionals to combat opioid abuse.

AmerisourceBergen has taken extensive action to help ensure the safe and secure delivery of these drugs. Beyond our reporting and immediate halting of tens of thousands of potentially suspicious orders, we provide daily reports to the DEA that detail the quantity, type and the receiving pharmacy of every single order of these products that we distribute. Our goal has been – and continues to be – to do everything within our power as a distributor to mitigate the diversion of these drugs without interfering with clinical decisions made by doctors, who interact directly with patients and decide what treatments are most appropriate for their care.”

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