The US president directed his request regarding the lawsuit at Attorney General Jeff Sessions."I'd like a lawsuit to be brought against these companies that are really sending opioids at a level that it shouldn't be happening," Trump said.
Trump said the Justice Department should look into litigation against some drug companies that have already been filed, but added that it should not join them. Rather, a new suit should be filed at the federal level, Trump stressed. The president also called on Sessions to take a closer look at the powerful prescription drug fentanyl that is coming from China and Mexico and do something from a legal standpoint to stop its trade. The new initiative was drafted earlier this Thursday by the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as part of President Donald Trump's "Safe Prescribing Plan," according to the release.
Trump has pledged to unleash a war on opioid abuse that kills thousands of people across the United States. Trump said there is a need to strictly enforce regulations on production and prescription of painkillers.
The Justice Department explained that the proposal sets annual limits on the manufacturing of the most often commonly prescribed Schedule II drugs, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine and fentanyl. It also suggests a greater involvement from state attorneys general in the process of regulating opioid use, the Justice Department said.
Drug overdoses have led to 72,000 deaths in 2017, a 10% increase from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Fortune magazine had outlined that this is a much higher number comparing to suicide, or deaths from influenza and pneumonia and nearly rivals the death from diabetes numbers — 79,500. CDC’s latest figures also showed that drug overdoses could account for nearly half of 150,000 accidental deaths in the US.