S.C. Attorney General investigating role of opioid manufacturers in national crisis

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A coalition of Attorneys General from across the country are investigating whether manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of opioids and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is a part of that group, according to a news release.

The group is investigating what role the opioid manufacturers and others may have played in creating or prolonging the national epidemic, the release said.

The coalition of Attorneys General is using its investigative tools, including subpoenas for documents and testimony, to determine the appropriate course of action.

Nationwide and in South Carolina, opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the CDC.

“South Carolina has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic,” noted Wilson. “Overdoses of prescription and illicit opioids have claimed the lives of thousands of South Carolinians in the last 5 years. Opioid abuse cuts across all demographic lines and impacts people from all walks of life. Over the past few months, the Office of the Attorney General has been having an ongoing dialogue with industry participants, state and federal regulators, and policymakers to determine the appropriate direction of this Office’s investigation. I am committed to working with stakeholders throughout the state on ways to combat this epidemic.”

The coalition is not identifying any targets of its investigation at this time.

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