Opioid distribution data recently released by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) shows an additional 24 billion opioid pills were distributed in the U.S. between 2013 and 2014 than was previously known.
The new data, which originated from the DEA’s ARCOS controlled-substance transaction database, shows that the total number of opioids shipped between 2006 and 2014 was approximately 100 billion.
Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio previously ordered the DEA to hand over the transaction business data and suspicious order reports on the defendants in the Ohio multidistrict litigation (MDL). The defendants include Purdue Pharma, Teva, Allergan, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, all of whom have settled the litigation except for Purdue, which filed for bankruptcy.
The opioid MDL spans nearly 2,500 towns, cities, counties and Native American tribes that have filed charges against multiple big-name drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains, alleging that their actions contributed to the opioid epidemic.