State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is the latest to join a bipartisan investigation into pharmaceutical companies’ marketing tactics of prescription opioids.
In an effort to find the role these companies may have played in the nationwide opioid abuse crisis, the coalition of attorneys general says it plans on issuing subpoenas for documents and testimonies. They have not released the names of any specific companies under investigation.
“While I certainly do not want to assume where this investigation may lead, I think it is fair to say that it wouldn’t be the first time pharmaceutical companies used deceptive sales and marketing of certain drugs for tremendous financial benefit,” Kilmartin said in a statement.
The Rhode Island Department of Health calls drug overdoses a public health crisis in the Ocean State, which they say began with prescription drugs.
“We owe it to the victims and their families to examine every aspect of this epidemic – from manufacturing of legal opioids to illegal diversion – if we are going to every truly get at the heart of the crisis,” Kilmartin said.
According to Health Department data there were a combined 336 drug overdose-related deaths in 2016, a majority of which were linked to opioids.
All New England attorneys general are taking part in the investigation.