Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

ICYMI: Greg Walden Expands Investigation Into Alleged Opioid Pill Dumping

September 28, 2017
Press Release

ICYMI: Greg Walden Expands Investigation Into Alleged Opioid Pill Dumping

Action comes as Walden renews pledge to combat opioid epidemic in Oregon and across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Continuing his efforts to combat the opioid crisis in Oregon and across the country, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) has expanded an investigation into alleged prescription pill dumping by a major drug company. This action comes as Walden recently announced a full committee hearing on the epidemic the week of October 23. More information about the hearing will be posted here, as it becomes available. 

Walden and a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter Monday to Miami-Luken, a drug distributor with ties to West Virginia, expanding on an existing investigation into alleged pill dumping in the state. The committee has been investigating the alleged pill dumping in West Virginia since earlier this year and stems from news reports by the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia and The Washington Post, detailing an unusually large opioid presence in the state of West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, “For years, Miami-Luken did the bulk of its West Virginia business in Mingo County, which has about 27,000 people. Between 2007 and 2012, 63 percent of the distributor’s hydrocodone shipments in West Virginia went to Mingo County, DEA records show. The company sold 14.7 million doses of hydrocodone to Mingo over six years.”

“We continue to be troubled by reports and records that show large amounts of these powerful and highly addictive painkillers coming in to small communities at alarming rates. As we have continued our investigation, it became increasingly clear that we needed to extend our oversight into Miami-Luken, a significant opioid distributor that we know has been active with West Virginia’s pharmacies,” Chairman Walden told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “West Virginia is among the hardest hit states by this epidemic and it’s critical we get to the bottom of how such large quantities of opioids were readily available in such small towns.”

As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Walden is at the forefront of battling the epidemic in Oregon and throughout the United States. Walden’s Committee has renewed its pledge to combat the opioid crisis in communities across the country, and the October 23 hearing is the first full committee hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee since Walden became Chairman. 

For more information on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s efforts to combat the epidemic, please click here.