Opioids Collections

Washington Post Opioid Collection


Overview and Background

This collection contains exhibits entered by the defendants in the Ohio opioid multi-district litigation (MDL 2804) which were unsealed after a legal challenge by The Washington Post and the owner of the Charleston Gazette-Mail (HD Media) in West Virginia. The Ohio 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in June 2019 that certain court filings, along with the DEA’s ARCOS (Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System) database, should be unsealed. The documents were posted online by The Washington Post on September 13, 2019.


The documents reveal detailed communications, strategies and reports by drug distributors to evade suspicious order monitoring compliance procedures in order to increase sales and profits from addictive drugs. Exhibits include: transcripts of depositions by Mallinckrodt executives (including Karen Harper, Director of Controlled Substance Compliance, and Victor Borelli, Director of National Accounts - Retail); emails, memos and presentation slides regarding suspicious order monitoring, sales increases, order handling and exceptions at McKesson, Cardinal Health and Walgreens; briefing and presentation on compliance by DEA to Actavis; and emails between Purdue Pharma and Cardinal Health regarding DEA enforcement.

Opioid Industry Documents Archive team members have not performed or commissioned any redactions on these documents.

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