[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]N[/dropcap]ew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently subpoenaing opioid producers and taking a stand against companies which he sees as a part of the problem.
According to Crain’s New York Business, Cuomo claims that there is an “industry-wide conspiracy” to make the opiate crisis worse, and on Sept. 10 he ordered the Department of Financial Services to subpoena both individuals and drug providers. His actions target a number of opioid producers such as Purdue Pharma, which created OxyContin®. His office also sent out requests for information from major insurance companies such as Emblem Health and Aetna.
His goal is to recover $2 billion that he claims New Yorkers overpaid in premium costs because of the opioid crisis, and he’ll do so by fining those found guilty up to $5,000 for every infraction, in addition to recovering the damages. “I’ve seen a number of schemes and frauds, but the opioid scheme is as diabolical, as brazen, as obnoxious and as offensive as anything I’ve seen,” Cuomo told Cain’s New York Business, addressing how addictive opioids can be.
He also emphasized that this is a new lawsuit, and not part of any previous legal action taken against the pharmacy industry regarding the opiate crisis. The inspiration, however, likely comes from the fact that other states are suing pharmacy giants like Johnson & Johnson.
The relationship between substances and New York has been an up-and-down one for the past few decades. When it comes to cannabis acceptance, the state recently decriminalized cannabis in order to stop racial profiling in drug searches but measures have still failed to legalize despite the hugely profitable untapped market in New York city. This is another new turn in the state’s stance on substances that will hopefully lead to a more progressive future.