Gov. John Kasich says Ohio might include drug distributors in opioid lawsuit after '60 Minutes' report

Republican Gov. John Kasich said his office is looking into whether drug distributors should be added as defendants in Ohio's opioid epidemic lawsuit, according to a report from the Statehouse News Bureau.

Mr. Kasich's comments follow the Oct. 15 publication and broadcast of a joint investigative report conducted by The Washington Post and "60 Minutes." The report suggested major drug distributors worked behind the scenes to influence lawmakers to pass legislation to significantly weaken the Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to regulate the industry.  

"You always have to look at claims, and you have to look at them thoroughly and find out what the truth is," Mr. Kasich told the Statehouse News Bureau Thursday. "And that's precisely what we're doing. So we are examining it right now. We're looking into what are the facts before we decide anything. We've got to find what the facts are."

Several Ohio counties have already filed opioid epidemic lawsuits against drug distributors. In May, Ohio's Attorney General Mike Dewine filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state against five opioid manufacturers for allegedly engaging in fraudulent marketing that fueled the state's opioid epidemic.

More than 4,000 Ohioans died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to a survey of county coroner's offices conducted by The Columbus Dispatch.

More articles on opioids: 
Judge OKs measure to create 'safe' areas for supervised injections in Washington state 
Massachusetts opioid prescriptions drop 28% in last 3 years 
US sees flood of opioids, while other countries see drought for palliative care

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