Hearings start in West Virginia drug wholesale lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The first hearing has been held in a lawsuit involving drug wholesale distributors accused of fueling West Virginia’s heroin epidemic.

Local news outlets report that Tuesday in Charleston a legal team for several West Virginia counties argued damages are necessary for opioids’ harmful impact on communities, alleging the firms breached their duty under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to oversee suspicious orders of prescriptions entering the state over the past several years.

Federal Judge David A. Faber said he doesn’t see how a dollar-amount could ever be put on that.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs, including McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp., said only state and federal authorities can attempt to enforce the act and that the firms have no control over abuse once drugs leave their possession.

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