CLEVELAND — A federal judge has ruled that local governments cannot make public federal government data about where prescription opioids were distributed.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is providing the information to state and local governments to use in their lawsuits against companies that make, distribute and sell the drugs at the center of a national overdose and addiction crisis.
News organizations are requesting the data through public records requests.
Cleveland-based Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing more than 800 of the lawsuits, ruled Thursday that it cannot be made public.
He says it contains trade secrets for the companies and is exempt from federal Freedom of Information Act requests.
The Washington Post and HD Media, owner of The Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, asked the court to allow the information to be released.
- US health chief says overdose deaths beginning to level off
- Lorain County gets $390K for opioid fight
- North Ridgeville files suit against drug manufacturers
- Opioid trials to begin in 2019 as settlement is also pushed
- Ohio opioid woes one reason drug lawsuits brought to state
- Judge issues gag order in opioid lawsuit settlement talks
- Judge urges action on '100 percent manmade' opioid crisis
- Justice Department will share prescription painkiller data for opioid lawsuit talks
- County readies to sue opioid makers
- Elyria files lawsuit against drug firms over opioid crisis
- Elyria City Council set to vote on opioid lawsuit
- Elyria Council initiates process to sue over opioids
- Lorain sues over opioid epidemic
- Ohio attorney general sues five drug makers over opiate crisis
- City says drugmaker knowingly let pills flood black market