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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss: lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds: geography, race, gender, level of education or income.The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets. First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources. What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper. WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide. Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

Ohio Attorney General DeWine Says He's Pressuring Drug Companies to Clean Up the Opioid Crisis

A photo of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s attorney general says the state needs to be doing more to fight the opioid crisis, which last year killed an average of 11 Ohioans a day. He says he’s putting pressure on the drug companies the state is already suing.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says he’s told those five drug manufacturers they have 30 days to come forward with money – but he wouldn’t reveal what further action he’s considering if they don’t.  And DeWine also says he wants drug distributors to pay up too, though the state’s not suing them – for now.

“No announcement today on a lawsuit against the distributors. What we have said, though, is that we’re asking them to come to the table and they need to do what’s right.”

DeWine – who is running for the Republican nomination for governor – also says he has 12 recommendations to fight the crisis, including legislation to give the governor the power to declare a public health emergency, more data sharing among law enforcement, more drug courts, and the doubling of treatment capacity – but he admits the cost of all that would be in the billions.

Here are the five drug manufacturers Ohio is suing. Unlike Cuyahoga County and other local governments, Ohio is not suing the wholesale distributors of the drugs. 

  • Purdue Pharma.
  • Endo Health Solutions.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and subsidiary Cephalon.
  • Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
  • Allergan