Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has joined 44 other state attorneys general in an effort to repeal a law restricting legal action against major drug companies who sell opiods.

Spokesman Eric Sell said the law entitled the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act that restricts punishment of prescription opiod drug manufacturers and distributors.

“What this act essentially did was to restrict the definition of imminent danger to the public health or safety,” Sell said. “It prevented the DEA from taking action against drug manufacturing and distribution companies who are knowingly putting the public health at risk.”

Sell said the point of the repeal is to address the alarming increase in overdoses, and in overdose deaths die to prescription opiods.

“This law ties the hands of the DEA who are trying to stop these drug manufacturers and distribution companies from continuing to push their products out into the market when they know that their drugs could pose a threat to the public.”

Sell said Attorney General Fox’s AID Montana Initiative is working to address all aspects of substance abuse in the state.