The major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors named in this film (McKesson, Walgreens, Actavis and Mallinckrodt) are among dozens of defendants in one of the largest civil trials class action cases in US history.
Plaintiffs in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation allege the drug companies contributed to the opioid crisis by carelessly promoting prescription painkillers, downplaying addiction risks and failing to properly monitor suspicious orders.
Billions of dollars in settlements are currently being negotiated.
Thus far, none of the these 4 companies have acknowledged any wrongdoing.
For more information on these companies, the plaintiffs in the case and the evidence being presented you can visit:
The Washington Post has also been doing some of the best coverage of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation. The Post and HD Media, which publishes the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, waged a year-long legal battle for access to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, known as ARCOS. They won and the database, which the government and the drug industry had sought to keep secret, has been made public. It tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city. The data provides an unprecedented look at the surge of legal pain pills that fueled the prescription opioid epidemic, which has resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths from 2006 through 2012.
Harvard Drug Group -
Just months after the raid on the George brothers’ clinics, the Drug Enforcement Administration suspended the pharmaceutical wholesaler's license to sell oxycodone. “The investigation has revealed that several of Harvard’s largest purchasers of oxycodone were engaged in schemes to dispense controlled substances based on prescriptions that were written for other than legitimate medical purposes,” according to the DEA. In 2015, Harvard was acquired by the pharmaceutical distributor Cardinal Health, one of the largest corporations in the world. Cardinal is also a defendant in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation and has agreed to pay billions in fines.
During the investigation, Chris George cooperated with the government to reduce his sentence by helping to prevent Paragon Enterprises from renewing their license to distribute controlled substances. In a hearing to have his sentenced reduced, Chris’s attorney noted:
“After [Chris George] testified, Agent Williams from the DEA, another DEA agent approached him about one of the premier providers of oxies, which is Paragon -- it was one of his suppliers, they were up for a license renewal, the Government was unable -- the agents were unable to stop it. They talked to Mr. George. He gave them the information that stopped the Paragon from getting a renewal.”
R&S, NuCare + MedXSales were 3 of nearly a dozen wholesalers who sold prescription medication to the George Brothers clinics. There is no evidence that these wholesalers were targets of the federal investigation or prosecutions associated with the prescription drug-related crimes discussed in this film.