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DOJ and Drug Makers Refuse to Release Drug Distribution Information In W. Virginia

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By June 14, 2018

HD Media, owner of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and other West Virginian newspapers, requested public information from the government about how many opioids were shipped to pharmacies in the state, and was turned down. The Justice Department and various influential drug makers blocked the request from being completed by local authorities, citing that the information could be used by competitors or illegal drug sellers for nefarious purposes. Local officials expressed frustration and confusion at the legal status of this information, which was already obtained from the companies by various local governments in the first place.

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CHARLESTON – The U.S. Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and the nation’s largest drug distributors are objecting to a West Virginia newspaper chain’s request for federal records that show prescription opioid shipments to every pharmacy in the state.

 

The Justice Department filed a motion this week in federal court, seeking to block the Cabell County Commission from releasing the opioid sales data to HD Media, which owns the Charleston Gazette-Mail, The Herald-Dispatch and other newspapers across Southern West Virginia. HD Media requested the opioid information from the Cabell commission in a public records request last week.

 

Justice Department lawyers have asked U.S District Judge Dan Polster to issue an order that would prohibit the release of the opioid numbers. The government’s motion – signed by lawyers with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern Ohio – argues that the prescription opioid sales information could be used for “press stories, commercial advantage or even illegal drug trafficking.” Click Here to Continue Reading

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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