W.Va. county files suit against drug distributors over opioid crisis

The lawsuit claims the companies sold around 40 million doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone to county pharmacies


By EMS1 Staff

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. — A West Virginia county filed a federal lawsuit this week against several drug distributors, alleging they turned a blind eye to the opioid epidemic.

The Cabell County Commission also alleges the distributors continued to sell mass quantities of pain medication in areas known for opioid abuse. 

The Cabell County Commission also alleges the distributors continued to sell mass quantities of pain medication in areas known for opioid abuse. (Photo/AP)
The Cabell County Commission also alleges the distributors continued to sell mass quantities of pain medication in areas known for opioid abuse. (Photo/AP)

The lawsuit claims the companies sold around 40 million doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone to county pharmacies between 2007 and 2012, reported Axios. There are less than 100,000 people in the county. 

"The sheer volume of prescription opioids distributed to pharmacies in Cabell County is excessive for the medical need of the community and facially suspicious,” according to the suit. “Some red flags are so obvious that no one who engages in the legitimate distribution of controlled substances can reasonably claim ignorance of them."

The lawsuit comes months after the Charleston Gazette-Mail published a report revealing that distributors flooded the state with prescription opioids.

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