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U.S. drug distributor wins $ 2.5 billion in Opioid, West Virginia

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Major US Drug distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp, and Cardinal Health Inc are not responsible for promoting opioid epidemics in parts of West Virginia by a federal judge who ruled on Monday.

Judge David Faber of the U.S. District Court tells Huntington City and Cabell County to join the three largest pharmaceutical companies in the country to deal with the drug crisis amid a flood of addictive drugs in the region. Refused to force efforts to pay $ 2.5 billion.

However, after a month-long trial that ended last year, Faber said doctors' "honest" prescribing decisions pushed up the amount of painkillers shipped to pharmacies, and companies oversupplied opioids. Said did not cause.

From 2006 to 2014, companies shipped 51.3 million opioid pills to local retail pharmacies, "to meet legally written prescriptions. There is nothing unreasonable in distributing regulated substances, "Faber wrote.

"The opioid crisis has cost considerable to the citizens of Cabell County and Huntington," he wrote. "And it's a natural tendency to take responsibility in such cases, but they must be decided on the basis of facts and law, not sympathy."

Mayor Huntington's Steve Williams described the decision as "damaging our city and our community." The city was trying to force businesses to help fund opioid treatment programs.

Cardinal Health said Faber's ruling allowed it to offer only "a safe channel for delivering all kinds of medicines." McKesson said he maintains a strong program to prevent the diversion of opioids to illegal routes.

Primarily seeking to hold these and other companies accountable for the epidemic of opioid abuse associated with deaths from overdose of more than 500,000 people in the past. More than 3,300 proceedings have been filed by the state and local governments. 20 years.

Distributor, along with pharmaceutical company Johnson&Johnson (J&J), up to $ 26 billion to resolve thousands of proceedings filed by state and local governments last year Agreed to pay. Country.

However, the devastated West Virginia community has opted to participate in a national opioid reconciliation in support of seeking greater recovery. Another trial against the West Virginia community over distributors will begin in state court on Tuesday.

Monday's ruling was added to a mixed record of Oklahoma proceedings brought to court nationwide, and last year Oklahoma and California courts said J&J.

Rejected a similar claim against a pharmaceutical company like A. In November, a federal jury found that pharmacy chain operators CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, and Walmart Inc were responsible in a proceeding filed by two counties in Oklahoma. A New York jury found in December that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd would be liable in a proceeding by the state and two counties. (Report by Nate Raymond of Boston, edited by Lisa Shoemaker, Bill Burkelot, Kenneth Maxwell)