JavaScript

This website requires the use of Javascript to function correctly. Performance and usage will suffer if it remains disabled.
‘Mountain of Opioid Pills’ from Distributors Fueled Crisis, Lawyer Says in Case Against Big Pharma

Real Truth logo

World News Desk

‘Mountain of Opioid Pills’ from Distributors Fueled Crisis, Lawyer Says in Case Against Big Pharma

Learn the why behind the headlines.

Subscribe to the Real Truth for FREE news and analysis.

Subscribe Now

Reuters – A West Virginia city and county launched their case against the three largest U.S. drug distributors at a widely anticipated trial on Monday, accusing them of fueling the opioid crisis that has resulted in nearly 500,000 overdose deaths in the United States over two decades.

“We intend to prove the simple truth that the distributor defendants sold a mountain of opioid pills into our community, fueling the opioid epidemic,” Paul Farrell, a lawyer for Cabell County, said in his opening statement in Charleston, West Virginia.

The distributors—AmerisourceBergen Corp, McKesson Corp and Cardinal Health Inc—have denied the allegations, saying they are not responsible for drugs that reached the black market after they were sold.

Robert Nicholas, a lawyer for AmerisourceBergen, said on Monday that the “true roots” of the opioid crisis was the increasing number of prescriptions written by doctors.

AmerisourceBergen “always reported suspicious orders,” but state authorities did not act on those reports, Mr. Nicholas said.

A verdict in the trial could help lay the groundwork for settlements in the sprawling nationwide litigation over the opioid crisis, which encompasses more than 3,300 lawsuits by local governments around the country against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies.

The town of Huntington and Cabell County, the plaintiffs in the case, opted out of a proposed $26 billion nationwide settlement with the three distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

Mr. Farrell said Huntington and Cabell County would use detailed records of opioid sales to show the enormous volume of the addictive pain medicines sold in the region, citing a 2016 report from the West Virginia Gazette-Mail that the wholesalers had sold 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills in the state.

He said there were numerous “black flags” showing the distributors were aware that their drugs were being diverted into illegal channels, but nonetheless continued to escalate opioid sales.

Opioids resulted in the overdose deaths of nearly 500,000 people in the United States from 1999 to 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Virginia is among the hardest hit states, recording more opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths per capita than any other in 2018, according to data from the National Institutes of Health.

Another opioid trial is underway in a case brought by California counties against J&J and other drugmakers, and a trial in a case brought by New York counties is scheduled to begin next month.

 
  • Articles
  • ANALYSIS
Battling Heroin Abuse – A Changing Fight Against an Old Foe
Given increased levels of addiction, law enforcement officials and healthcare workers are abandoning traditional approaches of combatting the drug and opting instead to treat the epidemic’s negative effects.


FREE Email Subscription (sent weekly)


Contact Information This information is required.

Comments or Questions? – Receive a Personal Response! Field below is optional.



Send

Your privacy is important to us. The email address above will be used for correspondence and free offers from The Restored Church of God. We will not sell, rent or give your personal information to any outside company or organization.

Latest News

View All Articles View All World News Desk