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Legal eagle goes after opioid wholesale distributors

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

cardinal health opioid crisis

Story at-a-glance -

  • While the opioid crisis has received a significant amount of attention, and strategies have been put into place to try to curb the epidemic of overuse and misuse, few of the responsible parties have been held to account
  • One West Virginia attorney has sued opioid wholesale distributors using a state nuisance statute. Distributors should have reported suspicious activity, yet didn’t. Farrell charges that this unlawful conduct is what has given rise to the public nuisance of rampant opioid addiction
  • Cardinal Health, one of the three largest opioid distributors in the U.S., denies accountability, blaming the opioid crisis on doctors, pharmacists, regulators and the Drug Enforcement Agency
  • However, there’s ample evidence showing Cardinal Health ignored suspiciously large orders, shipping an alarming number of pills into areas that should have raised big red warning flags
  • Wholesale distributors shipped 76 billion opioid pills across the U.S. between 2006 and 2012, more than 10 billion of which came through Cardinal Health

Prescription painkillers — not illicit drugs — are now among the most commonly misused drugs in the U.S. As of June 2017, opioids became the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency that year in October.

The following graph by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows the progressive incline in overdose deaths related to narcotic pain relievers between 1999 and 2017.


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