Attorney General Josh Stein visits Wilmington and speaks on the opioid crisis and price gouging

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  Attorney General Josh Stein visiting Wilmington on Friday, taking a moment to speak on the opioid crisis and price gouging.

The $26 billion agreement with opioid distributors and manufacturer will be used to help people across the country who are struggling with opioid addiction. It includes the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors and a major manufacturer. It is also expected to resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.

Negotiations were led by NC Attorney General Josh Stein, and attorney generals from 12 other states.

“More people have died this year than any other year in history, and it’s the deadliest drug epidemic in American History and so it’s imperative that we get to work trying to help keep people alive through harm reductions strategies, give people treatment access, where they can actually overcome their addiction and then we have to support them in recovery,” said Josh Stein.

North Carolina will receive around $750 million dollars, that will be distributed among the state and more than 53 local governments.

Attorney General Stein also spoke about his office receiving numerous reports of businesses jacking up the prices of COVID-19 tests, masks, and necessities like food and water. Stein says whenever a state of emergency is declared by the governor due to severe weather and a pandemic, the price gouging law goes into effect.

He emphasized that price gouging is illegal, and his office takes reports of it very seriously.

“My office takes enforcing that law very seriously. In fact, we just got an award for some people here in Wilmington from the storms that hit a few years ago. The tree removal companies came in, engaged in bait and switch where they quoted a low price, charged an outrageous price, and we got those customers they’re money back. So if price gouging occurs, we will aggressively go after it,” said Stein.

If you believe you have been a victim of price gouging, you are encouraged to report it to the attorney general’s office.

Categories: Local, NC-Carolinas, New Hanover, Top Stories

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