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DEA ripped for failing to stop drug firms from flooding West Virginia with painkillers


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal lawmakers railed against the Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday for failing to stop prescription drug distributors from shipping tens of millions of opioid painkillers to small-town pharmacies in Southern West Virginia.

Members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee demanded to know why the DEA didn’t act while the drug companies supplied more than 20 million pain pills to pharmacies in towns with fewer than 3,000 people — places like Williamson and Mount Gay.

“We spend billions of dollars, countless hours by law enforcement, trying to stop illegal drugs from coming into this country, and here we are sending millions of doses of opioids to tiny little towns in West Virginia, all of this supposedly legally,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., at Tuesday’s congressional hearing. “This has to stop. This has to stop now.”

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