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Opioid Crisis

Seif & McNamee In the Forefront of Acquiring DEA Data to Fight Big Pharma

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A Federal judge signed an order in Columbus, OH, on the 27th of October, allowing communities to subpoena a national database held by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the flow of prescription drugs.

Big pharma manufacturers and distributors use the Automated Reports and Consolidated Ordering System (ARCOS) to report on their controlled substance transactions to the DEA.

Although the DEA is likely to oppose releasing the ARCOS database, U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., chief judge of the U.S. Southern District of Ohio based in Columbus, signed the order for the data subpoena, and is scheduled to hear arguments at the next status conference on December 13.

Sief & McNamee is on the forefront of this request, along with lead counsel Paul Farrell Jr., because the data might support our allegations in federal court that the companies should have known they were sending a disproportionate amount of drugs to our towns and communities. Commissioners in Vinton County have stated that “it’s pretty obvious” that the three companies were not reporting suspicious orders of oxycodone and hydrocodone. The county has a population of 13,000, yet enough pills were sent there in 2015 that every person could have had 105 doses.

The plaintiffs have also requested that the lawsuits be combined as a “multidistrict litigation” case, or MDL. This would allow lawsuits that “involve common questions of fact” to be combined into one case, making rulings more efficient and consistent. A panel of judges will meet in St Louis on November 30 to consider this request, and then decide within two weeks whether to approve it. If approved it would also decide which federal district court would get the assignment.

Our firm prefers the southern district of Ohio, because the judge there is experienced with multidistrict litigation, from a case with over 3,500 suits against the company DuPont. Wherever the case is assigned though, Seif & McNamee will fight hard to protect our communities, with the same zeal we defend every single client.

For more information, contact Seif & McNamee at 740-947-7277 .

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