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WVU in the News: Chain drug stores brought millions of opioids to WV as overdoses surged

In Point Pleasant, a Mason County town with a population of 4,350 in 2010, pharmacists at Fruth Pharmacy gave out 7.3 million painkillers between 2006 and 2012.

Less than a block away, across Jackson Avenue, a Rite Aid dispensed more than 3.9 million pills in the same seven-year window.

Those numbers come from recently released U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency data, which shows how chain drug stores around West Virginia put hundreds of millions of powerful painkillers into the hands of West Virginians while overdose death rates surged.

Michael Brumage, director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program in the WVU School of Public Health and medical officer at the WVU Injury Control Research Center, discusses the role executives, distributors, doctors and pharmacists play in the opioid crisis.

Read the full story online.