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STAT Plus: A drug distributor flagged a pharmacy’s suspicious opioid orders. A federal court says it has to keep shipping the pills

WASHINGTON — For a year, lawmakers here have made bogeymen of pharmaceutical wholesalers, accusing the corporations of accelerating the opioid crisis by callously dumping addictive pain drugs into small towns that didn’t need them. But now, a federal court is flipping the script.

The U.S. District Court in Alaska ruled this month that the drug distributor AmerisourceBergen must continue to ship opioids to a pharmacy in Anchorage, Alaska, even though the distributor itself flagged the orders as excessive and suspicious.

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