CINCINNATI -- Federal authorities say a wholesale pharmaceutical distributor and others have been charged in Ohio with conspiring to distribute millions of painkiller pills.

A Justice Department release says the pharmaceutical distributor, two of its former officials and two pharmacists were indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. The U.S. attorney for Ohio's southern district and federal law enforcement officials planned a news conference Thursday to announce the charges formally and provide more details.

Authorities say those indicted were arrested on Thursday morning.

Prescription opioid statistics were made public this week by a federal court in Cleveland that is overseeing lawsuits against drug companies. Those statistics show the number of distributed painkiller pills soared as the nation's overdose epidemic grew over a seven-year period through 2012.

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