National Association of Attorneys General

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AGs to Congress: Pass Legislation to Hold Irresponsible Opioid Manufacturers Accountable and Impose Stiffer Penalties

For Release: May 21, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Contact: Marjorie Tharp | 202-326-6047 | 
mtharp@naag.org
Twitter: @NatlAssnAttysGn

Washington, D.C. --- In a continuing effort to help address the national opioid epidemic, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is calling on the U.S. Senate to quickly pass legislation that would hold opioid manufacturers accountable. Specifically, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 (S.2456) in addition to the Comprehensive Addiction Reform, Education, and Safety (CARES) Act of 2018 (S.2440) would increase penalties on drug manufacturers that fail to report suspicious transactions and maintain effective controls against diversion of their drugs to the illicit market.

“Diversion of prescription opioids has devastated communities in our states. The consequences for turning a blind eye to suspicious opioid orders cannot merely be a cost of doing business,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 39 state and territory attorneys general and sent today to Senate committee leadership.

Opioid manufacturers have a duty to ensure that they take steps quickly to prevent their drugs from entering the illicit market, yet some ignore their responsibilities. They are well-positioned to identify suspicious activity, including detecting certain doctors who consistently prescribe many more opioids.

Prescription pain relievers known as opioids include codeine, hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin), morphine and oxycodone (e.g. OxyContin, Percocet). A recent study indicates that drug overdoses claimed as many as 65,000 American lives in 2016, a 24 percent increase from the year before.

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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