Pharma executive blames vague DEA rules for opioid epidemic

West Virginia
OxyContin

FILE – This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. A bipartisan congressional investigation released Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, found that key players in the nation’s opioid industry have spent $65 million since 1997 funding nonprofits that advocate treating pain with medications, a strategy intended to boost the sale of prescription painkillers. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — A drug company executive testifying in a landmark trial against three large opioid distributors is still blaming the Drug Enforcement Administration for West Virginia’s addiction epidemic.

David May said Monday that AmerisourceBergen’s internal controls went beyond DEA expectations and federal requirements.

The civil case brought by Cabell County and the city of Huntington accuses AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Similar lawsuits have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements; this is the first to be tried in a federal court.

The result could have huge effects on hundreds of similar lawsuits filed across the country.

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