West Virginia: Judge Clears Distributors of Blame for Opioid Crisis

    Photo: AP [via The Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • On Mon., almost a year after closing arguments, a West Virginia federal judge ruled in favor of three main US drug distributors in an opioid lawsuit, which claimed that they had created a health crisis.

    • Both the city of Huntington and Cabell County, which were hotspots in the opioid epidemic, had demanded over $2.5B to fund a 15-year mitigation plan to recover from the health crisis.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The distributors are the guiltiest party in the opioid crisis. These companies have evaded regulations and failed to notify orders flagged as suspicious while lobbying against US government efforts to suspend murky drug shipments.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's hard to blame the epidemic on the pharmaceutical companies when a constellation of customers, doctors, and federal agencies also has their share of responsibility. Instead of looking for a scapegoat, holistic efforts should've been taken to curb the opioid crisis before it got worse.

    Establishment split



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