27 West Virginia hospitals sue drug industry players, allege opioid conspiracy

Twenty seven hospitals in West Virginia have sued opioid manufacturers, distributors and dispensers, accusing the companies of fueling the opioid crisis by using false marketing claims and unregulated shipping mechanisms, according to the Williamson Daily News.

The lawsuit, filed April 29, is believed to be the first time a group of hospitals sued drugmakers and distributors for a "criminal conspiracy."

The hospitals claim that the manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies "extracted billions of dollars of revenue from the addicted American public while hospitals sustained tens of millions of dollars in losses."

Among the West Virginia hospitals listed as plaintiffs are Charleston Area Medical Center, Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Beckley, Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, and Mon Health Medical Center and United Medical Center, both in Morgantown.

Ten Kentucky hospitals have also joined the lawsuit.

Among the defendants are OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, the Sackler family, Abbott Laboratories, Insys Therapeutics, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart.

The lawsuit aims to help hospitals recoup expenses.

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