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    Drug Firm Seeks to Dismiss McDowell County Pain Pill Suit


    WELCH–  A major prescription drug distributor is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the company fueled West Virginia’s opioid epidemic with excessively large shipment of painkillers.

    The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports an attorney for AmerisourceBergen said McDowell County commissioners are misguided in in blaming drug distributors for the drug problem.

    Attorney Alvin Emch says the company only supplied pain pills to federally licensed pharmacies. He says there is no evidence that the company shipped any pills that were diverted for non-medical use.

    A newspaper investigation showed the county’s 28,000 residents, were shipped 9 million hydrocodone and 3.2 million oxycodone pills over six years. The county has the highest overdose rate in the U.S.

    In January, AmerisourceBergen agreed to pay West Virginia $16 million to settle a similar lawsuit. The company denied wrongdoing.



    Rachel Ayers

    Rachel Ayers started as a multi-media journalist at WOAY in October of 2015. She then moved to evening anchor in September of 2016. Read More