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ICYMI: E&C Issues Second Probe for Nation’s Largest Distributors on Pill Dumping Allegations in West Virginia


02.15.18

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan committee leaders sent follow-up letters earlier today to McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, expanding on its ongoing investigation into alleged pill dumping in the state of West Virginia. Combined, these letters pose more than 70 questions and include more than 40 requests for documents about the distributors’ efforts during the height of the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.

The letters were sent by full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV).

The Washington Post reports, “The committee is investigating the sale of pills in West Virginia by wholesale drug distributors, which are required by law to monitor and report suspicious purchase orders of opioids to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When they don’t, millions of pills can be diverted to users and dealers from a single pharmacy. The new data are included in letters sent by the committee Thursday to the so-called ‘Big Three’ drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal and AmerisourceBergen — demanding more information on the steps they took during those years to keep drugs off the black market.”

Click HERE to read the letters.

Click HERE to read an executive summary.

For a timeline of the committee’s investigation, dating back to May 2017, click HERE.

For more information on the committee’s comprehensive work to combat the opioid crisis, click HERE.


One small town, two drug companies and 12.3 million doses of opioids

Two of the nation’s biggest drug distributors shipped 12.3 million doses of powerful opioids to a single pharmacy in a tiny West Virginia town over an eight-year period, a congressional committee revealed Thursday.

The Family Discount Pharmacy in Mount Gay-Shamrock received the drugs from McKesson Corp. and Cardinal Health between 2006 and 2014, according to the House Energy and Commerce committee.

The committee is investigating the sale of pills in West Virginia by wholesale drug distributors, which are required by law to monitor and report suspicious purchase orders of opioids to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When they don’t, millions of pills can be diverted to users and dealers from a single pharmacy.

The new data are included in letters sent by the committee Thursday to the so-called “Big Three” drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal and AmerisourceBergen — demanding more information on the steps they took during those years to keep drugs off the black market.

The committee said it had analyzed data provided by the DEA to determine that Cardinal Health sent Family Discount more than 6.5 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills between 2008 and 2012. It said McKesson sent the pharmacy 5.8 million pills between 2006 and 2014. Smaller distributors also sold narcotics to the drugstore — in a rural town with 1,779 residents in 2010 — bringing the total to nearly 16.6 million by 2016.

“We need detailed answers and documents from these national distributors as to why large volumes of opioids were distributed to certain areas of the state,” Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a statement. “West Virginians and families devastated by the opioid crisis all over the country deserve answers.”

Click HERE to read the full story online.

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