Tiny West Virginia Town Flooded With 3 Million Opioids During Drug Epidemic

A major drug company shipped over 3 million prescription opioids to a single pharmacy in a tiny West Virginia town in the span of just 10 months, according to a congressional report released Wednesday detailing the drug epidemic there. McKesson Corp. supplied almost 10,000 hydrocodone pills daily to one now-closed pharmacy in Kermit, a town with only 400 residents, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. The pills were reportedly supplied even after the pharmacy was flagged for “suspect pill orders” in 2007. The report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee also concluded that McKesson and other drug distributors, like Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, were shipping an “inordinate” number of pills to West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. The three distributors reportedly sent a total of “900 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills” between 2005 and 2016, a period in which thousands of West Virginians fatally overdosed on prescription opioids. The congressional committee said the shipments were an example of “failures that contributed to the worsening of the opioid epidemic.” The committee also criticized the DEA for failing to prevent the massive shipments.