Drugmakers, distributors ignored suspicious opioid shipments, court filing claims

A new court filing claims that several drugmakers and distributors turned a blind eye to suspicious opioid orders, failing to implement basic measures to halt the shipments, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Six things to know:

1. The court filing, made  last week by lawyers representing two Ohio counties, claims companies failed to analyze suspicious orders before they were shipped, applied unsophisticated controls on excessive sales and left their sales departments in charge of stopping shady orders. 

2. "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 reads, according to the Journal. 

3. The motion in Ohio alleges that companies just monitored changes in the size of customer orders even though the Drug Enforcement Administration also requires looking for orders that deviate from the norm in other ways, including frequency.

4. Lawyers are asking U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to find that the defendants failed to comply with the Controlled Substances Act by not preventing, reporting or halting suspicious drug orders. 

5. Defendants named include Mallinckrodt, Purdue Pharma, AmerisourceBergen and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

6. AmerisourceBergan told the Journal that the company has always complied with the Controlled Substance Act; Purdue Pharma denied the allegations, and Teva declined to comment to the newspaper. 

Access the full report here

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