• Oklahoma Attorney General: 'Deception of drug manufacturers' to blame for state's opioid problem

    By: Ashli Lincoln

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • The Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse held their fourth meeting Tuesday.
    • The commission is working to find solutions to the state's opioid problems.
    • FOX23 talked to the Oklahoma Attorney general about opioid use in the Sooner State.

     

    The Oklahoma Attorney General is talking tougher laws on prescribed drugs.

    The Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse was established earlier this year to find solutions to the state's opioid abuse problems, and Attorney General Mike Hunter says people could start seeing changes as early as 2018.

    The commission held their fourth meeting Tuesday in Tulsa. A team of state and local leaders discussed the state's problems and possible solutions.

    "At the end of the day, this was caused by the deception of drug manufacturers," Hunter said.

    Experts said opioid trouble in the Sooner State started more than 20 years ago through increased drug advertisement.

    Hunter told FOX23 that, with encouragement from pharmaceutical companies, doctors began to prescribe more and more opioids to patients.

    SEE MORE: Oklahoma attorney general rejects donations from drugmakers

    "These small doctors are being reckless," Hunter said. "They're putting profits ahead of patients."

    Hunter said that there were "enough drugs for every man, woman and child to receive pills last year" through legal prescriptions.

    During Tuesday's meeting, officials tackled the question of e-prescribing, a system that can create or fill prescriptions for patients through the internet.

    SEE MORE: Oklahoma Opioid Crisis: Attorney General's Plan

    "[Tougher regulations] imminently takes falsified prescriptions off the table, and that takes a big dent in how drugs are being obtained illegally," Hunter said.

    Hunter said the commission will have one more meeting in December before drafting a proposal to send to lawmakers.

    He also filed a lawsuit against major pharmaceutical companies he said played a major part in Oklahoma's opioid problem.

    SEE MORE: FOX23 Investigation: Athletes addicted to opioids


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