Prescription Drugs

Brian Turner

The U.S. attorney in Louisville says an Internet drug company operating in West Virginia has agreed to forfeit $450,000 from the illegal sale of prescription drugs as part of a guilty plea.

The plea agreement says Aracoma Drug Co. electronically received invalid prescriptions from NationalRXRPartners for prescription drugs to be dispensed to people who filled out questionnaires over the Internet.

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A crackdown by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force has reduced illegal prescription painkiller operations in Northern West Virginia.

Now authorities are dealing with a new drug problem - heroin.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register that heroin supply and demand is increasing for several reasons.

On West Virginia Morning, Suzanne Higgins reports on a new drug that successfully treats Hepatitis-C, but it comes with a big price tag.  And we’ll visit a distillery in the Eastern Panhandle.

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  A West Virginia Board of Pharmacy committee has identified 176 patients who could be "doctor shopping" for prescription drugs.

These patients have received pain medication prescriptions from at least 13 doctors over the past 12 months.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the committee recently warned medical professionals across the state that their patients could be "doctor shoppers."

West Virginia Attorney General's Office

GlaxoSmithKline LLC has agreed to pay West Virginia $22 million to settle a lawsuit alleging it illegally marketed three diabetic drugs.

 The drug maker didn't admit any liability in the settlement.
 
 West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey announced the settlement on Thursday. He says it's one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in the state's history.

    

West Virginia University students recently finished up their final examinations for the school year. During this time period, of course, many stay up long hours to cram to prepare for the tests. And according to West Virginia University Journalism students who performed a research study, many are reaching for prescription drugs to prepare, without a prescription.

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  Federal officials in southern West Virginia say they collected more than three tons of unwanted and expired drugs during last weekend's Prescription Drug Take-Back day. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory agent Suzan Williamson said the collection set a record at 6,211 pounds of prescription drugs. West Virginians participated at nearly 130 locations around the state.

On this West Virginia Morning, the State Senate goes through a very spirited debate on a prescriptions bill.

Also, the House of Delegates looks at allowing alcohol sales earlier in the day on Sunday, despite some opposition in the House.

A public hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee gives those concerned over frack waste a chance to weigh in.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources was the first to take action on Senate Bill 6 Tuesday, regulating the sale of drug products used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Senate Bill 6:

Senator Joe Manchin held a conference call this morning to discuss the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration is recommending hydrocodone be reclassified.

  The FDA is recommending to the Department of Health and Human Services that hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin or Lortab be reclassified from a Schedule III to a Schedule II controlled substance.

Under this category, it’s acknowledged that the drug has a high potential for abuse, can cause severe psychological or physical dependence, and should be used with severe restrictions.

RayNata / wikimedia

A Boone County judge has ordered four pharmaceutical drug distributors to reveal their shipments to West Virginia pharmacies over the past five years.
 
Circuit Judge William Thompson acted Thursday in a lawsuit filed last year by former state Attorney General Darrell McGraw. The suit accused the companies of helping to contribute to the state's pain pill abuse epidemic.
 

On this West Virginia Morning, Sen. Joe Manchin calls for an investigation into the Food & Drug Administration, more federal charges are brought against officials in Mingo County, Fayette County Schools talk consolidation with the state Board of Education and more.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Wednesday sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration informing them he will be calling for a full senate investigation into allegations of unholy links between the pharmaceutical industry and FDA officials overseeing safety regulations of painkiller medicine—this in light of a recent report that West Virginia has the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States.