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In settling lawsuits against them, companies often insist that all of the documents and depositions gathered as part of the cases be locked away or destroyed. To head that off — and to ensure a full accounting of the origins of the prescription opioid crisis — a group of historians is asking that any settlement in the massive opioid litigation require all collected documents be preserved and made public.

In a court brief Thursday, the experts called for “full and permanent access to the records” for scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the public, and for the defendants to cover the costs of creating an archive.


“The concealment of information about the abuse potential and distribution patterns of opioid painkillers allowed the epidemic of opioid abuse to take root in the first place and to grow to its current dimensions,” the brief says. “Since secrecy fueled the crisis, no just and genuinely remedial settlement can be reached unless it honors the public’s right to know and secures the conditions for its effective exercise into the future.”

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  • How about this thought in regards to the mountains of documents related to opioid litigation…Everything could have been summed up in one comment:
    99% of chronic pain patients have used their opioid medicines correctly and according to their doctors prescriptions with absolutely no problems, and
    100% of drug abusers and addicts have used illegally obtained opioids, opiates and illicit fentanyl and heroin recklessly, and dangerously to the point of overdose and death.

  • I wish someone would investigate Florida and their handling of this opioid epidemic. Our son was given huge amounts of Oxycodone and became addicted and the doctor detoxed him in office and then put him back on the Oxycodone. I was told by an expert that was criminal neglect. Our son died from heroin/fentanyl and we had no knowledge of him doing same. The cops were called and said his death was natural causes. I had to fight the medical examiner for 2 days to do an autopsy but she refused and decided to do toxicology. Why can’t someone answer our questions in Florida? I called the Board of Health to file a complaint against this doctor and was denied because I wasn’t the executor. I called the Attorney General, at the time Pam Bondi and no help. Police would not answer our calls and I had to do the investigation. The roommate who had just moved in was a known heroin addict and a fugitive from VA but I was told no reason to investigate him. He was driving our son’s car, was the last person seen with it and our son’s motorcycle, stole all our son’s belongings, but cops would do nothing. Called the State Attorney office and nothing. Called the City Council and nothing. Nobody called us when our son died. Our youngest son got a message on Facebook that his brother was dead. I called the new Attorney General’s office to speak with the Opioid Task Force and was told it wasn’t in effect yet. We filed a Congressional Inquiry thru our Congressman and nothing. Why won’t anyone in authority from Florida answer all our questions? What is going on in Florida? Our lives have been turned upside down and all we have is silence. Why won’t anyone address this? I know for a fact Duval County in Jax Fl has had tons of overdoses. We live in NC and that makes it even more difficult to get any help. How do parents get help and answers??

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