Attorney General: State joins opioid epidemic investigation

George Jepsen

George Jepsen

Attorney General George Jepsen last week announced that Connecticut is working with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the country on an ongoing investigation to evaluate whether pharmaceutical manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of prescription opioids.

The attorneys general are investigating what role, if any, opioid manufacturers may have played in exacerbating or prolonging the nation’s opioid epidemic. Because of the ongoing and sensitive nature of the investigation, the coalition of attorneys general is not identifying any potential targets at this time.

“The opioid epidemic continues to have a devastating impact in Connecticut,” said Jepsen in a press release.

“Connecticut’s policymakers have taken important steps to address the epidemic, and our first responders are doing the truly difficult and critical work of addressing this day in and day out. As attorney general, it is my responsibility to take whatever action is within my authority to help address this crisis, which is why I have joined with my colleagues in announcing our bipartisan, multistate efforts today,” Jepsen said. “It would be irresponsible to predict at this stage whether our efforts will lead to legal action or relief, but Connecticut residents can be assured that we will pursue this investigation fully.”

In Connecticut, 917 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Nationwide, prescription and illicit opioids are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths nationwide in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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