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The Department of Health and Human Services is looking at whether insurance companies make opioids more accessible than other pain treatments. (Photo: Shutterstock)

By favoring opioid medications as the cheaper option when compared with safer but more expensive alternatives, insurers may have helped enlarge the opioid crisis.

That’s according to a report by the New York Times and independent journalism organization ProPublica, which says that the New York State attorney general’s office may be taking a closer look at the role insurers and pharmacy benefit managers might be playing in the crisis. Last week the AG’s office sent letters to the three largest pharmacy benefit managers, CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx, asking how they were addressing the crisis.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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