Court Filing: Drug Makers and Distributors Didn’t Analyze Suspicious Opioid Orders

A new motion filed in federal court alleges many drug makers and distributors did not implement basic systems to stop suspicious opioid orders, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Lawyers for two Ohio counties allege companies did not analyze potentially suspicious orders until after they had shipped, and gave the job of stopping questionable orders to sales departments that had incentives to continue selling opioids.

“Their failure to identify suspicious orders was their business model: they turned a blind eye and called themselves mere ‘deliverymen’ with no responsibility for what they delivered or to whom,” the filing alleges.

The allegations are part of litigation over the opioid crisis being heard in federal court in Cleveland. A judge is overseeing almost 2,000 lawsuits filed by local governments and Native American tribes against the pharmaceutical industry. The suits aim to hold companies accountable for the opioid crisis they say began with prescription painkillers.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.


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