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Press Release

E&C Continues to Probe National Distributors About Alarming Number of Opioids in West Virginia


Bipartisan Leaders Pose Series of Questions, Request Documents About their Presence in State During Height of Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan committee leaders sent follow-up letters 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 individual letters question the distributors about their due diligence related to pharmacies the committee has identified as having received what appears to be an overwhelming number of opioids when compared to their communities’ populations. In one such instance, the bipartisan committee leaders point out that the Family Discount Pharmacy location in Mount Gay-Shamrock (population 1,779), West Virginia, received 16,591,280 doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone between 2006 and 2016 from a number of distributors, including McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen.

“According to DEA, these market reports further indicate that in 2013, a retail pharmacy in rural West Virginia on average received approximately 13,500 dosage units of hydrocodone per month. This means that in 2013, McKesson apparently supplied Family Discount of Mt. Gay-Shamrock with six times the amount of hydrocodone that an average pharmacy in rural West Virginia received in that year,” the bipartisan leaders wrote to McKesson. “Furthermore, these market reports indicate that an average retail pharmacy in rural West Virginia received approximately 4,500 dosage units of oxycodone per month in 2014. Assuming that this figure was similar in 2013, this means that McKesson supplied Family Discount of Mt. Gay-Shamrock with more than five times the amount of oxycodone that an average retail pharmacy in rural West Virginia would have received.”

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.

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