Federal prosecutors open criminal probe of opioid makers, distributors: WSJ

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(Reuters) – Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into whether pharmaceutical companies intentionally allowed opioid painkillers to flood communities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

At least six companies have received grand-jury subpoenas from U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York: Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:) Industries Ltd (TA:), Mallinckrodt Plc (N:), Johnson & Johnson (N:) and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc (N:) and distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp (N:) and McKesson Corp (N:), the WSJ reported.

Shares of Amneal, Teva and McKesson fell between 3% to 7%, while those of AmerisourceBergen and Mallinckrodt were down marginally.

The subpoenas were in connection with a Brooklyn federal probe, the Journal reported.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

The probe is in early stages and prosecutors are expected to send subpoenas to other companies in the coming months, the WSJ reported, citing one of the sources.

The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

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