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AG Sean Reyes Statement on on Veterans Day 2017

Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement on Veterans Day 2017:

This month, as we focus on giving thanks, it is more than appropriate that at least one day is specifically dedicated to honoring our military men and women. Thank you to all who have served in uniform and who have sacrificed both on duty and upon returning home. Thank you to family members who have spent time and precious moments away from deployed loved ones. And our deepest thanks to each gold star family who has given the greatest sacrifice for our nation.  

We celebrate Veterans Day in the Attorney General’s office by remembering all who have served our country, including many of our own employees. Personally, I honor my own family members who fought in world wars, some who signed up for the draft during a time when even their loyalty to their country was in question. I also pay tribute to those modern-day veterans like my brother-in-law who served in the Middle East after the attacks on September 11.  

I am humbled each time I’m privileged to recognize a veteran with an award for his or her service and contribution to our community and country. Our office is dedicated to finding ways to serve our veteran community as a whole, recognizing that as a group, they are statistically one of our most vulnerable. We appreciate that their service has often affected them in ways that make them more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicide.  

Far too many vets–over twenty a day–are lost nationwide to suicide. Some reports indicate we have lost more veterans of Middle East conflicts to suicide than to combat. In battle, we speak of leaving no one behind. In a return to civilian life, we leave far too many Vets behind. Additionally, a disproportionate number of Vets are homeless and lacking needed medical attention.  

I hope this Veterans day is a reminder that we, as a community, must re-focus on helping our service men and women overcome the challenges of job displacement and the hurdles of reintegration, offering healthcare, resources, and support for those who are too often fighting a different, internal battle at home.


Utah Attorney General's Office

A.G. Reyes Announces a $220 Million Multi-state Settlement with Deutsche Bank for Manipulating Interest Rate Benchmarks

LIBOR manipulation hurt government and not for profit counterparties

in Utah and across the country

SALT LAKE CITY  October 30, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes today announced a $220 million settlement with Deutsche Bank for fraudulent conduct involving the manipulation of LIBOR. This is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions of dollars and has a widespread impact on global markets and consumers.

“The fraudulent acts by Deutsche Bank hurt Utahns, cheating local non-profits and governmental bodies out of millions of dollars through fraudulent manipulation of interest rate benchmarks,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Any company that defrauds Utahns out of hard-earned money must be held to account.

“I appreciate the hard work by Ron Ockey, Antitrust Section Director, David Sonnenreich, Deputy Attorney General, and Edward Vasquez, Assistant Attorney General, and their team for their hard work on this settlement.”

The investigation, conducted by a working group of 43 State Attorneys General revealed that Deutsche Bank manipulated LIBOR in a number of ways.  Deutsche Bank employees improperly (a) made internal requests for LIBOR submissions to benefit Deutsche Bank’s trading positions; (b) attempted to influence other banks’ LIBOR submissions in a manner intended to benefit Deutsche Bank’s trading positions; and (c) received communications from inter-dealer brokers and external traders attempting to influence Deutsche Bank’s LIBOR submissions.  At times, Deutsche Bank LIBOR submitters and supervisors expressly acknowledged and indicated they would work to implement the requests they received.

Given this conduct, Deutsche Bank LIBOR submitters and management had strong reason to believe that Deutsche Bank’s and other banks’ LIBOR submissions did not reflect their true borrowing rates (as they were supposed to do pursuant to published guidelines) and that the LIBOR rates submitted by the banks did not reflect the actual borrowing costs of Deutsche Bank and other panel banks.

Deutsche Bank employees did not disclose these facts to the governmental and not-for-profit counterparties with whom Deutsche Bank executed LIBOR-referenced transactions even though these rates were material terms of the transactions.

Government entities and not-for-profit organizations in Utah and throughout the U.S., among others, were defrauded of millions of dollars when they entered into swaps and other investment instruments with Deutsche Bank without knowing that Deutsche Bank and other banks on the U.S. Dollar (USD)-LIBOR-setting panel were manipulating LIBOR.

Governmental and not-for-profit entities with LIBOR-linked swaps and other investment contracts with Deutsche Bank will be notified if they are eligible to receive a distribution from a settlement fund of $213.35 million.  The balance of the settlement fund will be used to pay costs and expenses of the investigation and for other uses consistent with state laws.

Deutsche Bank is the second of several USD-LIBOR-setting panel banks under investigation by the State Attorneys General to resolve the claims against it and has cooperated with the investigation.  The Utah Attorney General’s Office benefits from the information and evidence provided by corporations that timely cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigations. Such cooperation can facilitate civil enforcement efforts, including the distributions of funds for victims of the offense.

In addition to Utah, the states joining the  Deutsche Bank  settlement include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  The investigation into the conduct of several other USD LIBOR-setting panel banks is ongoing.

 

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Utah Attorney General's Office

Utah Attorney General Recovers $1.6 Million for Medicaid in Dispute with Mylan Over Misclassification of Epi-Pen

SALT LAKE CITY October 27, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes announced today that proceeds of a settlement with Mylan pharmaceutical have been delivered, and Utah has settled allegations against Mylan Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mylan Specialty L.P. (Mylan).  The settlement will resolve allegations that Mylan knowingly underpaid rebates owed to the Medicaid program for the drugs EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr.® (EpiPen) dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries.  Under the settlement which involved all fifty states and the federal government, Mylan agreed to pay $465 million to the United States and the States.  The States will share $213,936,000 of the total settlement.  As part of the settlement, Utah received a total of 1.6 million dollars which represents recovery for the state and federal government for expenditures to the Utah Medicaid program.

“The pharmaceutical industry produces many vital drugs and products for the benefit of our citizens, but like any other major industry, there need to be safeguards in place and rigorous enforcement of the law to assure that the taxpayers are being treated fairly under the regulations established by Congress,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes.

Mylan Inc. is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.  It manufactures, markets and sells pharmaceuticals through its wholly-owned subsidiaries.  Mylan Specialty is a Delaware limited partnership with its principal place of business in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Mylan Specialty owns the exclusive rights to sell EpiPen in the United States and possesses legal title to the New Drug Codes (“NDCs”) for EpiPen. 

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Statute was enacted by Congress in 1990 as a cost containment measure for Medicaid’s payment for outpatient drugs.  That statute requires participating pharmaceutical manufacturers or NDC holders, such as Mylan, to sign a Rebate Agreement with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a precondition for obtaining Medicaid coverage for their drugs and to pay quarterly rebates to State Medicaid programs for drugs dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries.  NDC holders are required to provide information to CMS concerning their covered drugs.  In particular, they (Mylan) must advise CMS regarding the classification of a covered drug as an “innovator” or “noninnovator” drug, as the amount of rebates owed varies depending on the drug’s classification.  The amount of the rebate also depends on pricing information provided by the manufacturer.  For drugs classified as “innovator” drugs, NDC holders must report their “Best Price,” or the lowest price for which it sold a covered drug in a particular quarter. 

Specifically, this settlement resolves allegations that from July 29, 2010 to March 31, 2017, Mylan submitted false statements to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) that incorrectly classified EpiPen as a “noninnovator multiple source” drug, as opposed to a “single source” or “innovator multiple source” drug, as those terms are defined in the Rebate Statute and Rebate Agreement.  Mylan also did not report a Best Price to CMS for EpiPen, as that term is defined in the Rebate Statute and Agreement, which it was required to do for all “single source” and “innovator multiple source” drugs.  As a result, Mylan submitted or caused to be submitted false statements to CMS and/or the States relating to EpiPen for Medicaid rebate purposes, and underpaid its EpiPen rebates to the State Medicaid Programs.  

Mylan’s settlement with the United States also resolves allegations that Mylan Specialty overcharged certain entities (known as the “340B Covered Entities”) that participated in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, 42 U.S.C. § 256b.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Utah Department of Health worked with the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (“NAMFCU”) Team who participated in the settlement negotiations with Mylan on behalf of the states.  Assistant Attorney General Robert Steed stated, “Mylan captured the attention of Congressional and local leaders of their price increases of the drug Epi Pen which is still a matter for review, but this settlement resolves a separate matter concerning the classification of the same drug for purposes of paying governments the correct rebate amount.”

 

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Naloxone Rescue Kits

Utah Opioid Task Force Encourages Access to Naloxone Rescue Kits

Naloxone rescue kits are legal and save lives, says Opioid Task Force leaders

SALT LAKE CITY  October 26, 2017 – Upon receiving reports that naloxone rescue kits were being confiscated, the Utah Opioid Task Force reiterated the legality of the life-saving kits and encouraged first responders, healthcare workers, and others to be ready to use them to save lives. Naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan®) can be a life-saving medication and is used solely as an antidote to reverse an opiate overdose.  Utah law permits any individual within the state of Utah to obtain, carry, furnish, and administer naloxone to anyone at risk of overdosing themselves or to anyone at risk of witnessing an overdose around them. 
 
“Utah laws permitting the use of naloxone were put in place to save lives, especially with the alarming number of Utahns dying of opioid overdoses. We are worried and concerned about recent reports that life-saving naloxone kits have been confiscated from those who can use them to save lives,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Anyone in possession of a naloxone kit has the ability to keep a victim alive until they can receive emergency medical aid.  The taking or confiscation of these rescue kits is rarely an appropriate action and could potentially result in a life lost.”
 
“The opioid crisis is devastating Utah and this country,” said Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes. “Naloxone rescue kits may be the difference between life and death for someone’s family member, friend or loved one. In 2014 and 2016, the Utah Legislature passed laws that permits the dispensing of naloxone. Naloxone kits may provide a second chance for individuals struggling with an opioid addiction, assists in the battle of this horrific pandemic and helps combat the devastation that follows. As we are fighting this opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation, it is crucial this life-saving tool be readily available to those willing to carry and administer it.”

“The burgeoning heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping across the state is claiming the lives of over 24 Utahn’s per month – the devastation and loss of human life experienced by families within our local communities is utterly overwhelming,” said DEA District Agent in Charge Brian Besser. “The DEA Salt Lake City District Office and Metro Narcotics Task Force highly encourage the personal appropriation and immediate availability of naloxone kits for Utah’s first responders, educators, and any private individual willing to carry and administer this life-saving drug. The robust availability of individual Naloxone kits will greatly assist law enforcement officers and medical professionals in combatting this vicious plague and the carnage it leaves behind.”
 
“Naloxone rescue kits across the state of Utah, in the hands of nonmedical laypeople, have been responsible for over 1,800 lives saved,” said Dr. Jennifer Plumb, Medical Director of Utah Naloxone. “Carrying naloxone is an important and responsible strategy for anyone who knows individuals who may be at risk of an opiate overdose.”
 
While there are different forms of naloxone rescue kits available, the most widely available kit has an injectable form of naloxone.  This administration method requires individual naloxone in vials as well as syringes for administration of the medication. The only way to administer this form of naloxone is by using syringes.  It is essential that injectable naloxone be carried with syringes always.  These syringes are essential for the delivery of this life-saving medication and should not be viewed as paraphernalia.
 
Naloxone may now be obtained without a prescription throughout the state of Utah, via a standing order issued and signed by the Director of the Utah State Department of Health. There is not a prescription required to possess it or furnish it to another individual.  There are multiple agencies statewide who are actively supplying kits to community members to help them save lives around them.  These include EMS agencies, medical providers, the substance abuse recovery community, agencies that work with those experiencing homelessness, and the state’s largest healthcare organizations. 

The Utah Opioid Task Force was formed in early 2017 and is a voluntary task force made up of representatives from partner agencies and organizations across the state. The mission of the Task Force is to take action against opioid abuse through law enforcement, prosecution, proposed legislation, and innovation.

The Utah Opioid Task Force was organized by Attorney General Sean Reyes, Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, DEA District Agent in Charge Brian Besser, Dr. Jennifer Plumb, and includes representatives from the Utah State Senate, Utah House of Representatives, law enforcement, government agencies, and volunteer organizations.
 

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Take Back Day

Keep your Kids Safe and Dispose Unwanted Rx

The biannual Utah Take Back Day is this Saturday, October 28, 2017. From 10 AM to 2 PM, dispose of your unwanted and unused prescriptions at collection sites all over Utah. Last April, local law enforcement collected 17,364 pounds of prescriptions. When you do have expired or unwanted medicine, the take-back program is the safest way to dispose of all your unused prescriptions drugs. Protect your kids and keep your family safe.

Storing unwanted prescription drugs is potentially harmful to children and potentially a source of supply that fuels prescription drug abuse.

Help fight the opioid epidemic by getting rid of your old drugs. Take all of your unwanted medicines to a disposal site on Utah Take Back Day, Saturday, October 28th.

To find where your closest collection site is, visit utahtakeback.org

http://www.utahtakeback.org/collection.php

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Utah Attorney General

AG Sean Reyes Joins Bipartisan Letter Urging PBMs to Implement Opioid Mitigation Programs

SALT LAKE CITY October 20, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes has joined with a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in letters to 15 healthcare companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services encouraging the companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse.

The attorneys general also sent a letter to the president and CEO of CVS Health Corporation applauding the company’s recent program that automatically enrolled all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients in an opioid abuse mitigation program.

“As Attorney General, I have seen far too much devastation to Utah families and communities from opioids. In our fight against this epidemic we have learned that all too often addiction starts with prescription medication,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. 

“I applaud pharmacies like CVS who are proactively implementing policies to lessen the likelihood of addiction by patients. We urge other companies to follow their lead. Limiting the duration and dosage of opioids, among other solutions, will likely decrease significantly the number of new addicts.

“Working with pharmacies is part of the Utah Opioid Task Force’s multi-layered approach with many stakeholders including manufacturers, prescribers, insurance companies, law enforcement & the recovery community to comprehensively address the opioid threat ravaging our nation.”

In their letters to the PBMs, the attorneys general asked that the companies adopt similar measures as CVS, including limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions for patients who are new to the therapy, limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid, and requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed. The CVS program’s requirements are similar to the opioid prescribing guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The multistate PBM letters were sent to:

  • Argus Health Systems, Inc.
  • Benecard Servies LLC
  • Envision Pharmaceutical Services LLC
  • Envolve Health
  • Express Scripts, Inc.
  • Humana, Inc.
  • Magellan Rx Management
  • MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc.
  • Navitus Health Solutions LLC
  • OptumRX , Inc.
  • PerformRx
  • Prime Therapeutics, Inc.
  • ProCare Rx
  • RxAdvance
  • WellDyneRx

“While there are no doubt additional measures that pharmacy benefit managers could take to combat prescription opioid abuse, we believe over-prescribing of opioids could be curtailed by the implementation of a CVS-type program,” the attorneys general wrote.

“The opioid epidemic is the most pressing public health crisis our country faces,” the attorneys general wrote. “It affects every state and has a devastating impact on communities – tearing apart families and stretching the budgets of local law enforcement and first responders as they do the difficult work on the front lines. For our part, attorneys general are pooling resources and coordinating across party lines to address the crisis.”

Opioids, both prescription and illicit, are now the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide. According to CDC, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. The Utah Department of Health reports in Utah 23 individuals die from prescription drug overdoses every month, and from 2013-2015, Utah ranked 7th in the U.S. for drug poisoning deaths. From 2000 to 2015 Utah saw a nearly 400% increase in deaths from the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

In addition to AG Sean Reyes, those joining one or both of today’s letters include attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Please click here to view these letters.
https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Letters-to-CVS-and-PMBs.pdf

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EDITORS NOTES:

1. Find drug overdose death data on the CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html

2. For Utah specific data on prescription drug overdoses visit: http://health.utah.gov/vipp/topics/prescription-drug-overdoses/

 


Utah Attorney General's Office

Resources for Utah Victims of the Harvest Music Festival Shooting in Las Vegas

SALT LAKE CITY October 11, 2017 – In the wake of the Harvest Music Festival Shooting, the Utah Attorney General’s Office announces that the City of Las Vegas is working towards finding all victims of the Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is offering everyone who was at the venue the opportunity to obtain counseling and victim compensation assistance in the wake of the tragedy.

If you attended the festival and are a Utah resident impacted by this tragedy, services such as counseling and victim compensation assistance are available to you. Please don’t hesistate to reach out to the resources listed below.

Please visit the victim assistance website—here—operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to navigate through the process of organizing counseling, receiving compensation, or retrieving your belongings.

https://www.fbi.gov/resources/victim-assistance/seeking-victim-information/assistance-for-victims-of-the-harvest-music-festival-shooting-in-las-vegas

Additionally, if you have lost any property you may have left behind, please complete the Victim Questionnaire.

https://forms.fbi.gov/seeking-victims-of-las-vegas-music-festival-shooting

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Financial Fraud Institute - St. George UT

Utah Attorney General’s Office Joins Federal, State and Local Government Officials to Educate Investors on How to Avoid Fraud

Public Seminar to be Held in St. George

SALT LAKE CITY October 10, 2017 – In a collaborative effort, the Utah Attorney General’s Office has joined with federal, state and local government officials to establish the Financial Fraud Institute and will hold a multi-agency seminar designed to educate Utah investors and consumers on how to recognize and avoid financial and consumer fraud. 
 
The free seminar is open to the public and will be held in St. George on November 2.  Follow us on Twitter at #StopFraudUtah.
 
Officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Utah Attorney General’s Office, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Utah Division of Securities, Utah Division of Consumer Protection, FBI, IRS and the Washington County Attorney’s office will participate in the seminar.
 
United States Attorney for the District of Utah John W. Huber will be the keynote speaker at the seminar. This is the third in a series of seminars to be held by representatives of the Financial Fraud Institute.
 

The seminar will provide information on: key questions to ask before making investment decisions; where to find free and unbiased information; how to spot financial scams; and how to report suspected fraud. 
 

WHO: National and local experts from federal and state law enforcement and financial regulatory age. 

WHAT: Financial Fraud Institute Seminars to educate investors and consumers on how to recognize and avoid fraud.

WHEN: November 2, 2017. 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. See full agenda

WHERE: The Dixie Center, 1835 Convention Center Drive, St. George, UT. 

Those interested in attending the seminar must register at: www.utfraud.com, or call 801-579-6191. For more information, visit www.utfraud.com.
 
The seminar is open to the press.  Press interested in attending the event should contact Melodie Rydalch of the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office on 801-243-6475 or melodie.rydalch@usdoj.gov.

 
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Road-To-Recovery

AG Reyes Calls on Congress to Pass “Road to Recovery” Act to Make Drug Treatment More Affordable and Accessible

39 Attorney Generals Call on Congress to Change Federal Law to Make
Drug Treatment More Affordable and Accessible

SALT LAKE CITY October 2, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes, with a bipartisan coalition of 39 Attorneys General and the National Association of Attorneys General, called on Congress to pass legislation that changes federal law to make treatment for drug addiction more affordable and accessible for Americans who most need it.

HR 2938, the “Road to Recovery” Act, will help increase access to treatment for opioid addiction by removing a more than 50-year-old provision in the Medicaid program that currently acts as a barrier to residential addiction treatment.

The “Road to Recovery” Act will help increase access to treatment for opioid addiction by removing a more than 50-year-old provision in the Medicaid program that currently acts as a barrier to residential addiction treatment.

The bill addresses the “Institutions for Mental Diseases” (IMD) exclusion which was created in the original 1965 Medicaid legislation to prevent the funding of large, residential mental health facilities. While the exclusion led to the closure of what were in many cases, inhumane institutions, it now has the unintended effect of limiting Medicaid funding for residential treatment facilities, which can be one of the most effective ways to treat drug addiction.

The “Road to Recovery” Act will remove the exclusion for addiction treatment facilities only. This will help open new avenues for addiction treatment while maintaining appropriate restrictions on mental health facilities.

The change in the law is supported by health care providers, insurers, treatment centers, governors of both political parties and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

To view a copy of today’s letter, please click here. click here.

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Utah Attorney General's Office

AG Reyes Statement on Las Vegas Shooting

SALT LAKE CITY October 2, 2017 – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement regarding the shooting last night in Las Vegas. 

“Our deepest sympathies extend to the families of those who lost their lives and our prayers lift toward heaven on behalf of those recovering or whose lives hang in the balance. In addition to the many civilian lives tragically taken, we mourn the deaths of military veterans and law enforcement personnel killed during and in response to the shooting. The thin blue line of law enforcement is painfully even thinner today.

“As has been the case with other mass shootings that have occurred worldwide in the recent past, perhaps out of the horror and shock of such senseless violence, we can unite in love and unity as a nation and as a global community to demonstrate support for those suffering and to condemn all such acts of unmitigated evil.

“Shortly after the news of the shooting broke on Sunday, I reached out to Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt to offer my concern and condolences and any help they may need. He expressed his appreciation to the State for its concern.”

 

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