he Department of Justice will ramp up its investigations of opioid manufacturers and distributors and weigh in on a number of state lawsuits, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday, ahead of an “opioids summit” to be held at the White House later this week.

Sessions, in addition to announcing new staffing and the creation of a task force aimed at distributors and manufacturers, said the department will submit a statement of interest “in a lawsuit against a number of opioid manufacturers and distributors for allegedly using false, deceptive, and unfair marketing of opioid drugs.”

A long list of manufacturers, including Purdue, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Insys, Janssen, and Teva, have faced scrutiny and often aggressive legal action from state and local governments seeking compensation for what many plaintiffs allege are the costs resulting from the companies’ disingenuous marketing tactics.


Sessions’ decision to add DOJ’s clout to the legal actions against manufacturers and distributors comes after a year of enforcement-side actions from the administration, including crackdowns on fentanyl importation and a broader crackdown on opioid dealer and distribution networks across the country.


Sign up for our D.C. Diagnosis newsletter

Please enter a valid email address.

“The hard-working taxpayers of this country deserve to be compensated by those whose illegal activity contributed to those costs,” Sessions said. “And we will go to court to ensure that the American people receive the compensation they deserve.”

Sessions’ decision to enter the fray is particularly noteworthy in light of the withdrawal of Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) as President Trump’s nominee for “drug czar.” Marino withdrew after reports revealed his role in legislating diminished enforcement powers for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

President Trump has still not nominated a new DEA director, and only recently nominated a replacement for Marino at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The news comes amid a wider flurry of activity on the opioid crisis. Sessions is attending a White House event on Thursday at which he and other administration officials will tout recent activity. Bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill have also allocated money in future budgets and unveiled an aggressive new bill aimed at addiction treatment and prevention.

Leave a Reply to Edward Dieguez Jr MD Cancel reply

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • I’m no academic,so I can only speak pure simple english for what all this hyper sensationalim is doing to me. I have worked for over 50 years to have what little I do. I have had more surgeries and procedures done to my back than i can recall, all to no avail. I live in constant fear of losing everything and having to reside in assisted living, all because of the actions of others. Each procedure has left me worse than the one before. the only thing that allows me to function at all is a miniscule amount of oxycodone. Iam sick of the one size fits all mentality. when I hear our leaders talk about how other governments are cruel to their citizens, I want to puke!! Talk about hipprocricy!! I hate the stigma of being on disability. I have had my meds cut from where i could work (Which i love), to where it’s all I can do to take care of basic hygeine. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of suicide due to excruciating pain, but so what. Just one less check for big brother to write. Fake news at its best. Most od’s are from chronic patients not being able to have access to the meds they need and having to turn to the street. What the hell is wrong with all this hysteria? i’m sure our powers that be don’t do without and have access to whatever they need. They wouldn’t last 10 minutes with my pain. GO RICHARD LAWHERN. the only advocate we have. Don’t like it? Kill me now. At least I won’t be in AGONY!!!

  • I think we should have a nationwide prescription drug monitoring system for all controlled substance including marijuana that is now legal in several states. And the use of the system need the be mandatory each and everytime a prescription for these substance is issued. Not using it should carry a heavy penalty up to loss of license.

    • I do not disagree these meds need monitoring. I’ve lived in pain 18 yrs after rupturing my back in the same place 3 times plus more back surgery, a partial fusion, and neurostimulators. My issue is why no one seems to care about hurting my quality of life and others in the same boat. I know the CDC says treat each person individually and 90mg max is not set in stone so to speak. It was inferred that Medicare patients are taking the worst reduction, I did. Please tell me how is that just or fair. Who will pay for our care when we can no longer continue on alone due to meds that help being taken away from stable, non abusing patients?

Recommended Stories

Drug Pricing
Donald Trump

Sign up for our Morning Rounds newsletter

Your daily dose of what’s new in health and medicine.