"The discovery asks for everything, and the [lawsuit] complaint tells us nothing," he said. "We need to straighten out what this case is about ... before we proceed."
Emch said Cagle was improperly trying to investigate the drug wholesalers -- a review better left to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the state Board of Pharmacy and Board of Medicine.
"A civil lawsuit is not an investigatory arm," Emch said.
Cagle argued that the drug companies' "dog-and-pony show" to keep the shipping records a secret was "just malarkey."
"When we get that information, it will absolutely show how involved they were," he said. "These are proper questions that need to be answered."
Also Thursday, Thompson appointed a mediator for the lawsuit. The two sides are expected to start mediation in March.
Thompson also declined to consolidate the two lawsuits. At a September hearing, an assistant attorney general told the judge that Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has stepped aside from the Cardinal Health case.
Last summer, Morrisey announced he recused himself from the Cardinal Health lawsuit, after the Gazette reported the drug company helped pay for Morrisey's inauguration party. The Gazette also reported that Morrisey's wife, Denise Henry, has lobbied for Cardinal Health in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade.
Morrisey, however, said he recused himself because McGraw "implied" at a parade during last year's campaign that the Cardinal Health suit was filed to retaliate against Morrisey. McGraw said he never spoke to Morrisey about the Cardinal Health lawsuit.
Morrisey, a Republican, defeated McGraw in the November election.
AmerisourceBergen is the nation's largest drug wholesaler, while Cardinal Health is the second largest.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.