CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada
issued the following statement after the Interim Finance Committee's unanimous, bipartisan approval of his office's "Prescription for Addiction" opioid initiative to combat the use, abuse and misuse of prescription drugs in Nevada: "On average, one Nevadan dies per day from drug overdose, and opioid-related overdoses have become the lead cause of death in America. My office's 'Prescription for Addiction' opioid initiative creates an opportunity to face the epidemic that touches our families, friends and loved ones, and to promote prevention in Nevada. Today the Legislature approved this initiative that includes the purchase of drug incinerators, the distribution of Nalaxone to first responders, funding allocated toward prevention and education efforts, and the creation of an investigative position to assist with federal efforts to curb opioid abuse. I am grateful to our Legislature for their support of this critical issue facing our State and nation, and am hopeful that these efforts will make a much-needed difference in our communities."
CWAG Associate Attorney General George Jepsen of Connecticut
led a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in letters to 15 health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services encouraging the companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse. The attorneys general also sent a letter to the president and CEO of CVS Health Corporation applauding the company's recent program that automatically enrolled all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients in an opioid abuse mitigation program. "All of us - law enforcement, first responders, policymakers, healthcare providers, individuals and families - have an important role to play in addressing this epidemic," said Attorney General Jepsen. "I commend CVS for taking steps to reduce prescription opioid abuse, a contributing factor in the opioid crisis that has impacted Connecticut and communities across the country. Today, my colleagues and I are strongly urging other PBMs to take similar steps and join with us all in action help stop opioid abuse." CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah joined with the bipartisan group of attorneys general and stated, "As Attorney General, I have seen far too much devastation to Utah families and communities from opioids. In our fight against this epidemic we have learned that all too often addiction starts with prescription medication."
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona
announced a State Grand Jury indicted Dr. Jamison Mark Foster on 30 felony charges including Acquisition of Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs by Fraud, Fraudulent Schemes, Forgery, and Taking the Identity of Another. The indictment alleges Dr. Jamison Foster, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, practicing as a general surgeon, forged the signature of a Phoenix doctor to obtain opioids for his own personal use. Dr. Foster had been previously employed by the victim doctor. The investigation began in May 2017 when Dr. Foster allegedly attempted to fill a forged prescription for Oxycodone at a pharmacy in Globe. The pharmacist reached out to law enforcement after growing suspicious of the alleged forged prescription. Investigators contacted the victim doctor and discovered she had not authorized the 71 prescriptions that Dr. Foster allegedly filled at pharmacies across Arizona from June 2016 to May 2017.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Mike Hunter of Oklahoma
sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting the federal government pursue opioid manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The letter comes one day after Attorney General Sessions was in Oklahoma to discuss criminal justice issues across the United States. Attorney General Hunter said the letter's intent is to open communications to develop a federal and state partnership to combat the opioid epidemic. "My letter to Attorney General Sessions is another necessary action as the state tries to pull itself out of this deadly epidemic and deal with those responsible for it," Attorney General Hunter said. "The opioid industry has knowingly flooded the market with these deadly drugs and it is past time to hold them accountable. There is clear evidence of these companies spending millions of dollars on lobbyists and fraudulent marketing campaigns in order to get these drugs into communities across the nation."