Drug companies submerged WV in opioids: One town of 3,000 got 21 million pills

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: Committee chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) questions witnesses during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing concerning federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis. (credit: Getty | Drew Angerer)

Drug companies hosed tiny towns in West Virginia with a deluge of addictive and deadly opioid pills over the last decade, according to an ongoing investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

For instance, drug companies collectively poured 20.8 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the small city of Williamson, West Virginia, between 2006 and 2016, according to a set of letters the committee released Tuesday. Williamson’s population was just 3,191 in 2010, according to US Census data.

“These numbers are outrageous, and we will get to the bottom of how this destruction was able to be unleashed across West Virginia,” committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a joint statement to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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