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Rules of a U.S. Judge Supporting Three Drug Distributors in West Virginia Opioid Proceedings

Monday's federal judge accused them of causing a health crisis by distributing 81 million tablets in oneWest Virginia over eight years. In a lawsuit, it ruled in favor of three major US drug distributors. A county devastated by opioid addiction.

This ruling has been around since the bench trial of the proceedings filed by Cabell County and Huntington City against AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp. It was done a year later. ..

"The opioid crisis has caused considerable damage to the citizens of Cabell County and Huntington City, and it is natural to hold responsibility in such cases, but not sympathy. It must be decided on the basis of facts and law, "U.S. District Judge David Faber wrote in a judgment on page 184. "In light of the court's findings and conclusions, the court decided that a judgment in favor of the defendant should be made."

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Cabel County lawyer Paul Farrell should be responsible for sending the prescription drug "tsunami" to the community, and the defendant's actions were devastated by opioid addiction. The health and safety of irrational, reckless and neglected people in the community.

Both companies have accused doctors of increasing prescriptions and federal agencies for inadequate communication and pill allocation.

The proceedings alleged that distributors caused pollution, but the Supreme Court of West Virginia stated that it applied pollution law only in the context of acts that interfere with public property or resources. rice field. He said extending the law to cover opioid marketing and sales is "contradictory to the traditional notion of history and obstruction."

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Plaintiffs defendants are regulated substances The entity that did not hold the proper registration from the drug enforcement agency or the state pharmacy. He also said the defendant had introduced a suspicious surveillance system, as required by the Controlled Substances Act.

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"Plaintiff is due to the defendant's injustice in the amount of prescription opioids distributed in Cabell / Huntington. I couldn't show that, "Faber wrote.

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In a statement, Cardinal Health said the judge's decision was "what we showed in court. Admits. Manufactures, sells, or prescribes prescription drugs, but instead delivers all types of drugs from manufacturers to thousands of hospital and pharmacy customers who dispense patients based on prescriptions ordered by doctors. It only provides a secure channel for.

"We continue to play a limited role in the pharmaceutical supply chain, so we are always adaptable to counter the diversion of drug bans. We promise to operate a rigorous system and remain part of the solution to the opioid crisis. "

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Lawyer The plaintiff said the ruling was "extremely disappointed."

"Evidence from witness statements, company documents, and extensive datasets is responsible for creating and monitoring the infrastructure that these defendants flooded West Virginia with opioids. I felt it was showing that, aside from the results, our gratitude was the first responders, civil servants, treatment professionals, researchers, and many others who gave testimony to reveal the truth. It's aimed at people. "

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said the ruling "has hit our city and our communities, but remains resilient in the face of adversity." I have. "

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"Citizens of our city and county are key to preventing an epidemic of this magnitude from happening again. You don't have to take any responsibility. ”

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Plaintiffs were seeking more than $ 2.5 billion. Toward reduction efforts. The goal of the 15-year reduction plan was to reduce the number of people with overdose, death from overdose, and opioid use disorders.

Last year, Cabell County, a county of 93,000 people living on the Ohio River, received 1,067 emergency responses to alleged overdose, significantly more than each of the last three years, at least 158. A person has died. So far this year, allegations of overdose have prompted at least 358 responses and 465 emergency room visits, according to preliminary data from the State Department's Department of Drug Control Policy.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the US addiction crisis is inflamed by the COVID-19 pandemic with death from overdose of more than 100,000 drugs in the 12 months to April 2021. Woke up. This is the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in a year.

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Read more:A California judge The state's opioid crisis proceedings in favor of a pharmaceutical company for $ 50 billion

The Cabell-Huntington proceedings were the first in a federal trial to end allegations of opioid distribution. As a result, it can have a significant impact on similar proceedings. Some have resulted in millions of dollars, including a provisional $ 161.5 million settlement signed by West Virginia with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AbbVie's Allergan, and her family in May.

In total, more than 3,000 proceedings have been filed over opioid tolls by state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions, hospitals, and other states and federal courts. Most people claim that either a pharmaceutical company, a distributor, or a pharmacy has caused pollution in a crisis related to the deaths of 500,000 Americans in the last two decades.

In another similar proceeding, West Virginia reached a $ 37 million settlement with McKesson in 2019, a $ 20 million settlement with Cardinal Health, and a $ 16 million settlement with AmerisourceBergen in 2017.

© 2022 The Canadian Press