Three pharmaceutical companies distributed 81 million opioid painkillers in a West Virginia county over an eight-year period, but the federal judge ruled they were not liable for the damage done by the opioid epidemic.
A federal judge ruled on July 4, 2022 that three pharmaceutical companies are not liable for the damage that their sales of opioids did to a community in West Virginia. (Photo: VCU CNS/Flickr/cc)
A community in West Virginia is planning to appeal a ruling handed down Monday by a federal judge who concluded that three pharmaceutical companies are not liable for the vast damage done to the area by their shipments of millions of opioids.
Cabell County and the city of Huntington argued in court last year that AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson had created a “public nuisance” by distributing more than 81 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills in the area over an eight-year period, saying the companies made no effort to ensure the pills were fulfilling legitimate prescriptions and wouldn’t be sold on the black market. Continue reading →
Even as company pharmacists protested, Walmart kept filling suspicious prescriptions, stoking the country’s opioid epidemic. A Republican U.S. Attorney in Texas thought the evidence was damning. Trump’s political appointees? Not so much.
Attorney General William P. Barr, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Department of Justice (Public domain)
On a Tuesday just before Halloween in 2018, a group of federal prosecutors and agents from Texas arrived in Washington. For almost two years, they’d been investigating the opioid dispensing practices of Walmart, the largest company in the world. They had amassed what they viewed as highly damning evidence only to face a major obstacle: top Trump appointees at the Department of Justice.
The prosecution team had come to Washington to try to save its case. Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, led the group, which included Heather Rattan, an over-20-year veteran of the office who had spent much of her career prosecuting members of drug cartels. Continue reading →
Big Pharma created the legal opiate addiction epidemic and its outgrowth, rampant heroin abuse, because pharmaceutical corporations’ own addiction to profit arguably trumps any concern it may have had for patients. Though the accusation may seem harsh, the evidence has never been more apparent thanks to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times — which presents a scathing condemnation of the company behind the notorious painkiller, OxyContin.
Two decades ago, Purdue Pharma began marketing OxyContin — a chemical cousin to heroin — with the claim its 12-hour “smooth and sustained” dosing would revolutionize the treatment of pain. However, the claim is not only problematic in that its duration is often hours less than promised — leading patients to experience symptoms of withdrawal — but Purdue knew that before the painkiller ever hit the market. Continue reading →