Report: Drugmakers, distributors under federal opioid probe

At least a half-dozen companies that make or distribute prescription opioid painkillers are facing a federal criminal investigation of their roles in a nationwide addiction and overdose crisis.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the investigation Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the probe.

In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dating back as far as February in one case, some of the companies have disclosed that they have received federal subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.

Most of the companies named in the report are also defendants more than 2,000 civil lawsuits filed by state and local governments alleging their drug promotion and distribution practices contributed to an opioid crisis that has been linked to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000.