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In push to keep opioid pill numbers secret, DOJ claims release would spur robberies


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The nation’s largest drug companies — backed by the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration — are fighting to shield the release of information that would show how many prescription opioids they shipped to pharmacies across the country over the past decade.

The drug manufacturers and distributors argue that the disclosure of the painkiller numbers would put them at a competitive disadvantage and strain their relations with the DEA. The Justice Department and DEA say the release of the shipping data would exacerbate the opioid crisis and allow criminals to “strategically plan robberies” of prescription pain pills from pharmacies.

The federal agencies and drug companies joined forces this week, urging a judge to block the public release of the opioid shipping numbers that have been under wraps pursuant to a court order since March

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