Originally on Wilmington News

September 20, 2017

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina’s Attorney General said he will launch an investigation into drug companies and their potential role in the opioid crisis.

Josh Stein made the announcement as he visited Brunswick and New Hanover counties today.

“This opioid epidemic is just tearing apart families, it’s taking lives all across North Carolina,” Stein said.

Attorney General Josh Stein has some big plans in store to continue the fight against opioid abuse.

“There is no other country in the world that prescribes anything like what we do in the United States, and there is no other country in the world that has the number with addiction and dying like we have in the United States,” Stein said.

That’s why the state’s top law enforcement officer wants to do his part fighting the epidemic by holding corporations responsible. And he has already begun.

“Doctors are obviously the ones who write the scrip, but they had been marketed too by these pharmaceuticals companies that’s what we are going to look into,” Stein said.

Stein said this is his office’s top priority, but he is not alone.  40 other attorneys general will take part in the investigation.

“If we determine that the drug manufacturers and drug wholesalers created and fueled this crisis, then I’ll hold them accountable, and that is what we are going to look into,” Stein said.

Stein said if these drug companies in anyway misconstrued how addictive these drugs could be to doctors, then they have contributed to this problem.

Stein said he works regularly with local district attorneys and this investigation is not a criminal one but a civil investigation.