A broad coalition of state attorneys general from have partnered together, forming a bipartisan committee with the goal of investigating the marketing and sales practices of opioid manufacturers. The goal is to discover how big of a role the manufactures have played in creating the current opioid epidemic the country is going through.
According to data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were responsible for the death of more than 33,000 lives in 2015. About half of them estimated to have had prescriptions for opioids. In fact, 3 out 4 new heroin users start with legal narcotics, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, CNN reports.
Just how many states will participate in the probe is not clear as of yet, as the investigation still at its early stages. In the meantime, several attorneys general have commented on the role of the committee:
"The multistate investigation will help us determine the appropriate course of action we can take as attorneys general to address the opioid epidemic," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, according to CNN.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, "I want to know whether drug companies, seeking higher profits, have recklessly and unlawfully pushed addictive opioids."
Madigan added, "We must hold drug companies accountable for their role in the epidemic levels of opioid overdoses and deaths in Illinois and around the country."