AG: Data reveals how company flooded Kentucky with opioids

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Opioids, drugs, prescription pain killers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A judge has agreed with a request from the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office to unseal court documents that reveal specific data on how one opioid manufacturer flooded Kentucky with opioids, according to the AG’s Office.

The AG’s Office filed a motion in Madison Circuit Court in August to unseal previously redacted information in a complaint against Missouri-based manufacturer Mallinckrodt. A judge entered the order this week.

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The information was originally sealed to comply with subpoena procedure employed in the investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration database, which was released to the public this summer following a federal opioid case in Ohio.

Previously redacted information in the complaint, now available after the filing, according to the AG’s Office, includes:

  • From January 2012 to December 2017, Mallinckrodt sold 896,167,221 dosage units of opioids in Kentucky.
  • Internal documents demonstrate that Mallinckrodt was aware of suspicious orders in Kentucky, but continued to fill orders of opioids for pharmacies. For instance, a Manchester pharmacy dispensed 9,533, 30 mg tablets of oxycodone each month in 2012. Manchester’s population in 2012 was just 1,434 people.
  • From April 2010 to May 2014, Mallinckrodt sales representatives visited and called Kentucky prescribers 17,492 times in order to promote its painkiller, Exalgo.
  • From 2006 to 2014, Mallinckrodt sold 21% of opioids by gram weight distributed to Kentucky pharmacies and accounted for 29.66% of total opioid orders in the Commonwealth during that time.
  • Kentucky’s Medicaid program spent $14,793,690 on Mallinckrodt’s opioids from 2013 to 2016. 

    Kentucky leads the nation with nine individual opioid lawsuits.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.