Tennessee AG won’t say whether he plans to sue drug companies for opioid crisis

NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell wants the state’s top attorney to take action against several companies that make painkillers. She sent a letter to Attorney General Herbert Slatery III Thursday, urging his office to file a lawsuit against drug companies for their alleged role in the ongoing opioid crisis.

Ohio announced yesterday it was suing five companies. Ohio said those companies are intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science.

In a statement sent to WJHL, Attorney General Slatery would not say whether Tennessee would also file a lawsuit.

“Ohio advised us that it was taking this step,” he said. “It is hard to overstate the problem that opioid abuse is in our State and nationally. We have been working for quite some time with the Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and frankly other states, to determine the most effective role our Office can play in addressing and helping to resolve this problem.”

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