Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says she’s taking part in a multistate investigation into the role of the nation’s drug companies may have played in creating the opioid crisis.
Mills says more Mainers have died from prescription opioids since 2010 than from illicitly obtained opioids. She says there is no doubt that these highly addictive pain medications have been overprescribed in Maine — and she says several states are cooperating in the probe.
“Certain manufacturers have misled the public, and misled health care providers for 20-something years now, and caused a surge in pharmaceutical prescriptions of opioids that have devastated people’s lives,” she says.
Mills says opioid addiction has led to the abuse of other drugs, and in Maine overdose deaths are claiming a person per day. She says she is worried that number may increase this year.
“This has been a devastating epidemic in our state and in all the states across the country, and we want to get to the bottom of it, and we want to hold those responsible accountable for what they have done to our society,” she says.
Several states, as well as a few municipalities, have filed lawsuits against some drug companies. Mills declined to name the companies because the investigation is ongoing, but she says she hopes the states can take action against them this year.