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Besehear Files Suit Against Opioid Distributor

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing San Francisco-based drug distributor McKesson Corporation for allegedly “flooding” the commonwealth with opioids.    

“McKesson had a duty to report when it ships large or suspicious amounts of opioids to a state or region. They knew that their shipments to Kentucky were excessive, even grossly excessive. But they simply sent them any ways and didn’t notify the authorities," Beshear said.

Beshear spoke at a press conference on Monday. The lawsuit is based on reports from DEA investigations that found McKesson did not report big increases in prescriptions of opioids. 

Wholesale drug distributors are bound by law to report big shipments as way of keeping physician prescribing in check. 
According to Beshear, more than 18 million doses of prescription opioids were distributed in a six year time span in Floyd County alone. 

In Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer last August said 197 million doses of prescription opioids were dispensed in Jefferson County from 2012 through the middle of 2017. They were distributed by McKesson and two other distributors. 

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter. Most recently, she was a reporter for Kaiser Health News. During her career, Gillespie has covered all things health — from Medicaid and Medicare payment policy and rural hospital closures to science funding and the dietary supplement market.
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