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Federal prosecutors open criminal probe of opioid makers and distributors, report says

By Rachel Brooks

Contributer| The Telegraph Local 

See New African Living Standard 

The opioid epidemic saga scrolls on like some never-ending film credits of all those lives it is ending. Federal prosecutors open a criminal probe of the makers and distributors of opioids, citing the Wall Street Journal. This time the authorities pull some plays from the book thrown at drug dealers to examine white-collar, pharmaceuticals crime. This probe will examine whether the manufacturers allow their products to swamp communities. 

Screencapture of Amy Klobuchar’s Twitter, washingtonpost.com 

The Epoch Times stated that the US Federal probe into opioid manufacturers is only in its early stages, and is expected to go after far more than six major manufacturers. Epoch Times spoke with two New York criminal attorneys who said criminal charges would likely come from the investigation, citing the Controlled Substance Act as a reason. The US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York subpoenaed five companies as part of the investigation. They are Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Mallinckrodt Plc, Johnson & Johnson, and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc., and the distributor company McKesson Corp., citing regulatory filings.

Criminal findings and due process are necessary, yet the Fed may not need to wait for the criminal justice system to catch up. Politicians are using their place in the 2020 election spotlight to speed things along.

Amy Klobuchar, the US Senator from Minnesota and Presidential hopeful in the 2020 campaign, cited Washington Post’s article on six drug companies subpoenaed in the probe. Klobuchar is an active supporter of reducing pharmaceutical prices. She and others like her and highly likely to keep talks on the opioid crisis consistently buzzing as Big Pharma goes on trial. For this, active legislation against big pharma opioid is almost a guaranteed talking point of the 2020’s political horizons, regardless of the outcome this investigation concludes. 

Also citing The Epoch Times, which was citing WSJ, Amerisource Bergen as well received a subpoena as part of the probe. The company did not specify the nature of the probe in regard to their activities. New companies will be added to the list as this investigation precedes, so keep checking back for more.

“Not civil liability_crimes,” Eric Garland, premosocial.com, cited by CNBC

The LA Times cites doctors who state that the opioid criminal probe is a “witch hunt”. This follows the Medical Board of California’s probe into practices that prescribed fatal dosages of opioids to their patients. This is known as the Death Certificate Project. It has been in circulation since at least December 2017, citing MedPage Today in late summer 2018. This suggests that the current opioid probe has been many years in the making and is not particularly a random politically-charged probe into Big Pharma. 

The investigation has angered and terrified many doctors in California because they may or may not necessarily have been the medical professional to directly assign the fatal dosage amounts. 

The Federal inquiry into major drug manufacturers seems to be part of a long, drawn-out saga that will slowly transform healthcare. Citing The Philadelphia Tribune, the major companies already given subpoenas appear compliant. Johnson& Johnson and its subsidiary company Jannsen were quoted in a public statement saying that the public inquiry was understood as “part of a broader, industry-wide investigation into manufacturers.” Perhaps each of the major companies believes that, if they are compliant, they will all merely be part of a “broad scope” investigation?

Will the Feds drive any witches out into the open with their Big Pharma opioid probe? Little is certain yet. One should likely expect major disruptions in the legal and public approach toward healthcare moving forward. This investigation could likely be the catalyst of a major revolution, whether for good or evil, in the chronicles of opioid’s divisive history. 

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