Opioids under Attack: Government is now on the offensive – New York News


The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 


Two announcements from the federal government represent progress in the fight against opioids.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration said it will require drug manufacturers to better educate physicians about the painkillers.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced a $35 million settlement with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, a company charged with looking the other way when it had reason to believe some of its opioids were landing on the black market. 

If the tide of the epidemic has not been turned, the battle at least is joined.

In addition to the contributions of federal agencies, the states and local governments are becoming increasingly aggressive against drug dealers, manufacturers and the insurance companies that limit treatment for substance abuse.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has been calling on insurers to make sure they adequately cover addiction treatment, make it easy for people to access that treatment and better cover alternatives, such as physical therapy, that can reduce the need for painkillers. 

Ohio and other states have sued drug companies, alleging they fueled the epidemic by underplaying or misrepresenting the drugs’ danger.

There’s more to come.

Shapiro last month said he is part of a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general that is using “investigative tools, including subpoenas for documents and testimony, to determine the appropriate course of action.“ 

Pharmaceutical companies should regard the Justice Department’s settlement with Mallinckrodt as a shot across the…

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