West Virginia County Sues Three Drug Distributors

Dec 25, 2016

A West Virginia county has sued three prescription drug distributors alleging they fueled the local opioid epidemic by shipping far too many painkillers there.

The McDowell County Courthouse
Credit West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The McDowell County Commission filed the suit Friday that names Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp. and AmerisourceBergen as defendants.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that the commissioners also sued Dr. Harold A. Cofer Jr. who was disciplined by the state Board of Medicine earlier this year amid an investigation into his drug prescriptions.

Cofer, who kept his medical license, declined to comment.

A recent investigation by the newspaper showed McDowell County, with 28,000 residents, was shipped 9 million hydrocodone and 3.2 million oxycodone pills over six years and had the highest drug overdose rate of any U.S. county.

Cardinal Health declined to comment. McKesson and AmerisourceBergen did not immediately respond to queries.