AG Fox Leads Coalition Supporting Stiffer Penalties for Irresponsible Drug Manufacturers

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, along with the attorneys general of Ohio and Washington, led a bipartisan coalition of 39 state and territory attorneys general calling on congressional leaders to promptly pass measures to help hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and to stem diversion.

The coalition sent a letter to the chair and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as well as the Judiciary Committee, the committees of jurisdiction, urging them to pass the S.2456, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 ,and S.2440, the Comprehensive Addiction Reform, Education, and Safety (CARES) Act.

“Diversion of prescription opioids has devastated families across the country, including here in Montana,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “The consequences of turning a blind eye toward suspicious opioid orders cannot merely be a cost of doing business.  These bills will help states like ours hold opioid manufacturers appropriately accountable for their actions.”

Opioid manufacturers have a duty to ensure they take steps to prevent drugs from entering the illicit market.  Among other provisions, CARA 2.0 and the CARES Act increase penalties on drug manufacturers failing to report suspicious transactions and maintain effective controls against diversion of their drugs to the illicit market.  The bills would increase the civil penalty from $10,000 to $100,000 per violation for negligence in reporting suspicious activity and double the criminal penalty to $500,000 for companies which willfully disregard or knowingly fail to keep proper reporting systems or fail to report suspicious activity.

For more information, click on CARA 2.0CARES Act, or congress.gov.

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