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2 Jan 2020

Ryan Boysen, Law360

Pharmacies Must Produce 14 Years Of Opioid Records In Multi-District Litigation

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Some of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains must turn over an unprecedented 14 years’ worth of nationwide opioid prescription records to the cities and counties suing them for billions over their role in the opioid epidemic, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the sprawling multidistrict litigation has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster’s short Dec. 30 order means that Walgreen Co., CVS Health Corp., Rite-Aid Corp., Walmart Inc. and other pharmacy retailers will have to produce records dating back to 2006 that will show how many customers obtained opioids from them and what safeguards were in place to ensure those prescriptions were legitimate, medically necessary and complied with the Controlled Substances Act, among other things.

The pharmacies, which have unsuccessfully sought to remove Judge Polster from the massive MDL and complained that he makes decisions before allowing them to weigh in, contested the sweeping discovery order, calling it “vast and unprecedented.”

An information technology executive at Walmart said in a declaration that the retail giant “has never previously attempted to” produce “dispensing data on the scale contemplated by the order.”