CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s history of labor-intensive jobs, bad health and overprescribing of opioids together led to the explosion of pills flooding the Huntington area about 15 years ago, attorneys representing drug distributors argued Thursday.
The theory was explored on the fourth day of trial at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston in which the city of Huntington and Cabell County accuse AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. — the “Big Three” drug distributors — of fueling the opioid epidemic by shipping 80 million opioid pills to the area over eight years before reducing the number, which the plaintiffs said made users turn to illicit drugs.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, West Virginia’s former state heath officer, went into his second day of testimony with questioning from Cardinal Health and McKesson attorneys Enu Mainigi and Timothy Hester, who picked and pulled sections of state and nationally published reports or bills submitted to state legislatures to make their case.
“I would be happy to explain the context of it,” Gupta replied each time, but was not allowed…