Price of overdose deaths by county in Ohio (age-adjusted) 2011-2016
COLUMBUS – Ohio Lawyer Basic Mike DeWine is demanding a critical supply inside 30 days of hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even billions, from drug producers and distributors to pay for the state’s drug drawback – or else.
What is the penalty if drug corporations do not come ahead to pay for DeWine’s 12-level plan to deal with Ohio’s crippling drug disaster? He is not saying.
“I would like the drug corporations to marvel what my subsequent step goes to be,” DeWine stated. “We’ll use no matter instruments we will. We’ll leverage no matter I’ve, no matter authority I’ve and we’ll go after them.”
DeWine, who’s a Republican operating for governor in 2018, introduced Monday that he despatched letters to 5 drug producers – Purdue Pharma, Endo Well being Options, Teva, Johnson & Johnson and Allergan – demanding that they provide cash to unravel Ohio’s drug drawback. Several were already named in a lawsuit DeWine filed in May.
DeWine also sent letters to drug distributors McKesson, Amerisource Bergen and Ohio’s Cardinal Health. When DeWine filed the initial lawsuit, Democrats criticized him for not going after distributors as well. DeWine still has not added them to that lawsuit, he said Monday.
“I am presenting you with an opportunity to meet with me and my office within the next 30 days to begin building a response that will immediately start saving lives and preventing future deaths and suffering,” DeWine wrote in the letters, obtained by The Enquirer through a records’ request.
How much money does DeWine want? That’s not clear either. He estimated $23.5 million would pay for 60 additional drug courts, more drug task forces and an improved data system to share details about drug busts. But the cost of doubling the state’s drug treatment services could cost “billions.”
DeWine blames drug companies’ deception for hooking Ohioans on prescription drugs in the beginning. Pain pills led to heroin, which has led to even more deadly drugs: fentanyl and carfentanyl. In 2016, 4,050 people died of drug overdoses in Ohio, according to state health department records.
“These drug companies have laid waste to our state as only the worst plague could do,” DeWine said.
DeWine has several plans for the money. He would ask lawmakers to allow the governor to declare a public health emergency, which would empower the governor to send money…