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Beshear Asks Pensions to Divest From Companies Profitting From Opioids

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Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. 

It’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Beshear sent letters this week to the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, urging the agencies to stop investing funds in the six opioid manufacturers and distributors that his office is currently suing for helping fuel the state’s prescription drug abuse. 

The attorney general has filed lawsuits against five drug makers and the Walgreens pharmacy chain for their role in the opioid epidemic.  Based on a March 31 monthly report of pension investment holdings, Beshear says it appears that KRS investments in the six companies total nearly $38 million. 

The same report shows that KTRS owns more than a million shares between the six companies.  

Beshear says while he’s working to hold the companies accountable in court, state agencies can do their part by stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars into company coffers.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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