Listen: U.S. prosecutors open criminal probe of opioid makers, distributors
"The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Federal Prosecutors I have launched a criminal probe of opioid makers and distributors. The investigation aims to decide whether pharmaceutical companies intentionally allowed OPIOID painkillers to flood communities. This sort of criminal investigation is usually reserved for drug dealers and cartels so this is pretty major. If the investigation results in criminal charges it could be the biggest prosecution of drug companies. He's that have allegedly contributed to the OPIOID epidemic Akilah. What are the companies that are involved in this? And how far has this investigation gone already. Yeah so six. Companies have confirmed in in regulatory filings that they received a grand jury subpoenas from the US Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York. There's probably more but we do know about Johnson Johnson. TV If a pharmaceutical industries and mckesson Corp Ammiel Pharmaceuticals Mellon crowd and resources. Bergen Corp they have better. Yeah without headed out. This is a criminal investigation instead of a civil one on the show. We've talked about the big civil case involving Purdue Pharma Company paid a two hundred seventy million dollar settlement and its legal battle against Oklahoma Tiba also agreed to pay that state eighty five million now shortly after those settlements Purdue Pharma filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy. What makes this case different than all those other ones? So according to legal experts that the Wall Street Journal spoke with criminal charges require prosecutors to prove an effort to willfully fully end intentionally avoid requirements like reporting signs. You know like suspicious orders. For example that could indicate the drugs were being used for non medical purposes under the controlled Substances Act whereas civil charges can be brought to executives and companies for failing to report those signs passively in other words. The attorneys Ernie's general have to prove these companies intentionally hid the red flags about how the drugs are being distributed and misuse and communities across the country Earlier this year when federal federal prosecutors filed similar but smaller criminal cases in Manhattan and Ohio against a pharmaceutical distributor and a couple of executives Manhattan. US Attorney Jeffrey Berman Said said quote executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking wild. Yeah wow so. This is a big deal. And it's part of a movement towards reparations for communities that have dealt with this opioid crisis but what comes next question to your point about this being moved towards repairing what's been lost more than four hundred thousand Americans have died from overdoses from legal and illegal opioid since one thousand nine nine. That number comes from the some federal statistics six so obviously millions of dollars won't be enough ray. Several of the companies being investigated have already tried to reach settlements in the forty eight billion dollar range but if the ninety settlements from big tobacco or any kind of indication we should be looking in the hundreds of billions of dollars range much of the money one against big tobacco unfortunately went into budget gaps in different states rather than to you know rehabilitation and crisis services. So there's a lot to pay attention to with the money. How much of it is coming? And where exactly exactly the funds will go at the end of all of"