Federal Prosecutors Open Investigation Into Opioid Makers and Distributors

Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal probe to investigate whether opioid makers and distributors intentionally allowed opioids to flood U.S. communities.

At least six companies received grand jury subpoenas from the Eastern District of New York, including Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, these companies are required to track commonly abused drugs, report suspicious orders, and implement and maintain compliance programs. If prosecutors can prove that the companies did not comply with these mandates, the investigation could result in criminal charges.

In the coming months, prosecutors are expected to subpoena additional companies. If the investigation yields criminal charges, it could be the largest prosecution of drug companies related to the opioid crisis yet.

Source: The Hill, November 27, 2019; The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2019.