Four Cities including Huntington Sue Joint Health Commission in Federal Court

Updated 1 year ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Four Cities including Huntington Sue Joint Health Commission in Federal Court

Four cities --- Charleston, Huntington , Ceredo & Kenova -- have filed suit in federal court against the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) for neglect in approving drug use guidelines that led to Huntington becoming "ground zero" in the current addiction crisis.  The commission's recommendations led to large scale alleged misuse of pain killing drugs.

JCAHO certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S, including Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, CAMC, and River Park Hospital. Since 2001 , hospitals and health organizations have followed rigorous pain management standards which incorporated the under treatment of pain and that pain is the most common reason individuals seek health care. Due to these standards, they signaled organizations and physicians that they might incur liabilities for not prescribing sufficient pain medications to make patients "essentially pain-free."

The federal court has already determined that WV "is a rural state deeply wounded by and suffering from a plague of heroin and opioid addiction." WV has the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in the U.S.

Huntington Mayor told the Charleston Gazette:

“This lawsuit is a critical move toward eliminating the source of opioid addiction and holding one of the most culpable parties responsible,” said Huntington Mayor Steve Williams. “For too long, [The Joint Commission] has operated in concert with opioid producers to establish pain management guidelines that feature the use of opioids virtually without restriction. The [commission’s] standards are based on bad science, if they are based on any science at all.”

At the crux of the complaint is that the JCAHO "grossly misrepresented the addictive qualities of opioids and fostered dangerous pain control practices that result of which was ... inappropriate provision... with disastrous adverse consequences for individuals, families, and communities. These dangerous standards with minor modifications exist to this day," the complaint states.

The JCAHO "zealously enforces there dangerous standards" despite manufacturer Purdue Pharma, L.P. pleading guilty to criminally misrepresenting OxyContin in 2007. JCAHO will revise standards in January 2018, but they do not reflect the "national health emergency nationwide" declared last week by President Donald Trump.

The complaint alleges that the commission has shown a  "reckless and negligent indifference to the horrors of addiction" due to "profitable cooperation" with the opioid industry.

The joint commission had no comment. Earlier this year, Huntington joined other cities in suiting large drug manufacturers in federal court.

You can download a PDF attachment of the suit below.

A link to the suit is here:



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