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Justice Department will share prescription painkiller data for opioid lawsuit talks


CLEVELAND — The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to share some federal data about prescription painkiller sales to help with settlement talks between local governments and drug companies they’re targeting in hundreds of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic.

Cleveland.com reports the department agreed to release certain data if a judge requires that it not be circulated publicly and be returned or destroyed when the litigation is finished.

The information would include a year-by-year, state-by-state breakdown of companies that made and distributed most of the opioids in each state between 2006 and 2014. It also would include how many pills were sold annually in each state and each drug company’s market share.

A federal judge in Cleveland overseeing the settlement talks has said the information could help “track whose pills went where.”

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