Readers split on release of pill data

August 2, 2018

A federal judge last week blocked the Cabell County Commission and local governments across the U.S. from releasing information that details the number of prescription opioids that drug firms shipped to West Virginia and other states. HD Media, which includes the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Herald-Dispatch, had asked a judge to allow the Cabell County Commission, which along with hundreds of other local governments, is suing the drug firms, to release the pill shipping data.

In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Dan A. Polster noted that counties suing drug manufacturers and distributors had agreed to a “protective order” that prohibited the public release of the pain-pill data. He concluded there was “good cause” to keep the protective order, saying the DEA database of pill shipments contains information that’s sensitive to drug distributors and pharmacies. The same data also is “crucial to law enforcement efforts,” the judge wrote.

Here are readers’ comments on the issue:

Tanya McComas: Knowing the numbers holds them accountable. NO FAKE NEWS IN NUMBERS.”

Melissa Nicholas: “How much money has his campaign received?”

Chris Callicoat: “None, federal judge aren’t elected. Instead, he noted an agreement the counties suing made with the drug firms: “Counties suing drug manufacturers and distributors had agreed to a protective order that prohibited the public release of the pain-pill data.′ Basically, the counties agreed not to release the data, then decided to try and violate that agreement. While I feel that data should be out, it needs to be done legally or it can’t be used against the manufacturers.”

Randy Miller: “Hmmm. What are they ashamed of?”

Linda Joyce Click: “People who have chronic pain are suffering because the federal government has stuck its nose in where it has no business. I agree with this judge. Not everyone is an addict, but doctors are afraid to prescribe them anything for pain. It’s ridiculous.”

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