Federal District Court Judge Orders Disclosure of Opioid Market Share Data

An Ohio Federal District Court judge just recently granted an Order in the multi-district national prescription opiate litigation for release of the market share data, from a federal database, of opioid sales to counties and other entities. Specifically, the Order requires production of reports derived from the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). This court-ordered release of information shall include: (1) manufacturer reports reflecting the names of all labelers who manufactured and/or labeled more than five percent of the market share of opioids distributed in the relevant county or county-equivalents; (2) distributor reports reflecting the name of each distributor who distributed more than five percent of the market share of opioids distributed in the relevant county or county-equivalents; and (3) pharmacy reports reflecting all opioid shipments to each pharmacy in the relevant county or county-equivalents.  According to the Order, these reports shall be made available and produced on or before November 19, 2018.

Releasing this information will allow for the identification of which manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies played significant roles in the high volume of opioids disseminated to the public from 2006-2014. Attorneys prosecuting the MDL demanded production of this data for purposes of allowing them to conduct a more informed analysis of which defendants’ conduct warrant inclusion in the pending lawsuits.  As indicated by counsel, the disclosed opioid market share data will likely impact what entities are named as defendants, and this may prevent entities who have minimal market share contribution from being named.

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