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DeWine Putting Pressure On Drug Companies To Clean Up Opioid Crisis

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio’s attorney general says the state needs to be doing more to fight the opioid crisis, which last year killed an average of 11 Ohioans a day. He says he’s putting pressure on the drug companies the state is already suing to begin immediate settlement talks.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says he’s told those five drug manufacturers they have 30 days to come forward with money – but he wouldn’t reveal what further action he’s considering if they don’t. And DeWine also says he wants drug distributors to pay up too, though the state’s not suing them – for now.

“No announcement today on a lawsuit against the distributors," DeWine said. "What we have said, though, is that we’re asking them to come to the table and they need to do what’s right.”

DeWine, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, also says he has 12 recommendations to fight the crisis. Those include legislation to give the governor the power to declare a public health emergency, more data sharing among law enforcement, more drug courts, and the doubling of treatment capacity – but he admits the cost of all that would be in the billions.

The five drug manufacturers Ohio is suing include:

  • Purdue Pharma.
  • Endo Health Solutions.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and subsidiary Cephalon.
  • Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
  • Allergan

Unlike Cuyahoga County and other local governments, Ohio is not suing any wholesale drug distributors.