Tags: oxycodone | hydrocodone | pain pills | west virginia | cdc

Report: Drug Companies Poured Pain Pills Into West Virginia

Image: Report: Drug Companies Poured Pain Pills Into West Virginia

Pain tablets. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 06:51 PM

Drug firms have poured 782 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into West Virginia over the last six years, and shipments have doubled into Wyoming County, where the overdose rate leads the nation, a Charleston Gazette-Mail investigation found.

West Virginia is at the forefront of the country’s opioid addiction epidemic and, in 2015, had the highest rate of death due to drug overdose. Since 1999, opioid overdoses have quadrupled.

"These numbers will shake even the most cynical observer," former Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne told the Gazette-Mail. "Distributors have fed their greed on human frailties and to criminal effect. There is no excuse and should be no forgiveness."

By acquiring previously confidential drug shipping sales records from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Gazette-Mail was able to take a close look at the huge pill problem in the state. The paper sued for the findings, and drug companies and their lawyers fought to keep the information secret.

Some of the findings:

  • In a town of 392, drug companies shipped nearly 9 million hydrocodone pills over a two-year period to one pharmacy.
  • One small pharmacy received 600 times the amount of oxycodone pills as the Rite Aid close by.
  • McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. delivered more than half of all pain pills in the state.
  • Distributors failed to report suspicious orders to the state Board of Pharmacy and the board didn't do its due diligence in inspecting the pharmacies. 

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Drug firms have poured 782 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into West Virginia over the last six years, and, shipments have doubled into Wyoming County, where the overdose rate leads the nation.
oxycodone, hydrocodone, pain pills, west virginia, cdc
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2016-51-18
Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 06:51 PM
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