6 drug companies under criminal investigation linked to opioid crisis

At least six drug companies have received grand jury subpoenas for a federal investigation into whether they fueled the opioid epidemic, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The companies include drugmakers Teva, Mallinckrodt, Johnson & Johnson and Amneal Pharmaceuticals and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen and McKesson.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York are investigating whether the companies violated the federal Controlled Substances Act by intentionally selling excessive amounts of opioids. The Controlled Substances Act requires companies to closely monitor commonly abused drugs and report suspicious orders.

Prosecutors are expected to subpoena more companies in the coming months, according to the Journal.

Drug companies have denied responsibility for the opioid crisis, saying they followed laws related to prescription painkiller manufacturing and distributing.

At least 400,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses of legal and illegal opioids since 1999, according to federal data cited by the Journal.

Read the full article here.

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