West Virginia hospitals sue opioid firms

By ERIC EYRE

Charleston Gazette-Mail

The ER entrance at CAMC General Hospital, in downtown Charleston.
(Gazette-Mail file photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Twenty-seven West Virginia hospitals, including Charleston Area Medical Center, filed a lawsuit Monday against opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging the companies’ false marketing practices and unfettered pill shipments fueled the addiction crisis and forced hospitals to absorb enormous health care costs.

The lawsuit, filed in Marshall County Circuit Court, is believed to be the first time hospitals have targeted drug makers and shippers, accusing the companies of a “criminal conspiracy” that made treatment costs skyrocket.

“This is a big step toward asking the responsible parties be held accountable for the role they played in this crisis,” said Ron Pellegrino, chief operating officer at West Virginia University Hospitals, which joined the lawsuit.

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