Opioid manufacturers, distributors named
Twenty-seven West Virginia hospitals have filed a major lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors of opioid drugs. The suit, filed in Marshall County, alleges the companies used false marketing practices and engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” that resulted in many Mountain State residents becoming hooked on pain pills — from which many moved on to harder drugs such as heroin.
Filing of the suit is just the first step in what will be a long, torturous journey through the court system. Rest assured that getting the facts — whether there indeed was a conspiracy to sell drugs that officials of the companies knew were dangerous — will not be easy.
Other lawsuits against drug companies also have accused them of recklessly pouring millions of pain pills into our region. But how deep into the companies did that marketing and distribution scheme go? Who knew what, and when did they know it, about the deadly impact of such sales?
Getting to the bottom of how much responsibility drug manufacturers and distributors bear for the substance abuse crisis is important.
Again, however, don’t look for the new lawsuit to provide answers anytime in the near future.