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When “Big Data” Takes A Vacation

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March 20, 2017

Attorneys general and private attorneys in more than a dozen states have opened a new front in the battle against opioid abuse. They are suing drug and drug distribution companies, alleging they created a public hazard by expediting obviously suspicious wholesale orders of opioid drugs on a massive scale. One of those cases was filed earlier this month in federal court in West Virginia, said to have the highest opioid overdose rate in the nation. Citing an investigation by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Washington Post reports that between 2007 and 2012, pharmaceutical distributors shipped 780 million doses of opioids to West Virginia, and there were 1,728 overdose deaths. “Cabell County, in the heart of the state, was flooded with nearly 40 million tablets of painkillers in that time,” the Post writes. “With a population of 96,000, that’s more than 400 pills for every adult and child.”

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