Why AGs are targeting drug companies – The Journal News | LoHud.com

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New York has a new law enforcement effort to combat New York’s heroin and opioid distribution networks, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Thursday. Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic, SURGE, Initiative, was created to target gangs and individuals who deal heroin and opioids, specifically in suburban and upstate communities. The attorney general’s Organized Crime Task Force will oversee the initiative. Lindsey Riback, Albany Bureau

ALBANY — Attorneys general across the country are demanding information from pharmaceutical companies in an ongoing investigation into prescription drug abuse.

A bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general said Tuesday they have jointly filed subpoenas to major opioid distributors and manufacturers as they investigate how prescription drugs are marketed and distributed, as well as the impact it has had on the national opioid epidemic.

“Too often, prescription opioids are the on-ramp to addiction for millions of Americans. We’re committed to getting to the bottom of a broken system that has fueled the epidemic and taken far too many lives,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overdoses on prescription opioids has more than quadrupled in the last 18 years.

Between 2010 and 2015, opioid-related overdoses in New York rose 71 percent, a review in April by the Rockefeller Institute of Government found.

The subpoenas were served to Endo International; Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc. and Allergan Inc.

Distributors who were subpoenaed were AmerisourceBergen; Cardinal Health and McKesson.

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