MADISON, W.Va. -- Less than two weeks ago, the Boone County Commission filed a lawsuit against six pharmacies, alleging they helped fuel the county's problem with prescription drug abuse.
But commissioners are now having second thoughts. On Tuesday, they're scheduled to vote whether to withdraw the lawsuit, which names pharmacies in Madison, Uneeda, Alum Creek and Kanawha City.
"I know some of those pharmacists personally," said Richard Stevens, executive director of the West Virginia Pharmacists Association. "To my knowledge, they're all respectable professionals. They're not pill pushers."
The Boone County lawsuit -- filed for the commission by Charleston lawyers Rudy DiTrapano and Jim Cagle -- allege the "pill mill" pharmacies turned a blind eye to the prescription drug problem and knew many of the pills they distributed weren't being used for medical purposes.
"The pharmacies acted out of greed due to the profits achieved from their acts and omissions," according to the lawsuit.
The complaint says the Boone County sheriff and prosecuting attorney's office spend most of their budget on crimes related to the county's prescription drug "epidemic."
"Obviously, we have a huge problem with [prescription] drugs from Kanawha County on down," said Boone Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph. "We're overwhelmed by drug cases. Any time you can look at ways to address the flow of the problem and in other ways is a good thing."
Boone County commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the lawsuit in August 2012. Cagle and DiTrapano filed the lawsuit in Boone County Circuit Court on Sept. 3.
But late last week, Boone County commissioners scheduled a meeting at 11:25 a.m. Tuesday to "dismiss" the lawsuit, according to a tentative agenda.
"It's a strange turn of events," Randolph said.
Boone County commissioners could not be reached for comment Friday.
The pharmacies named in the lawsuit are: Larry's Drive-in Pharmacy in Madison; Medicine Stop in Uneeda; Meds 2 Go, Meds to Go Express and Alum Creek Pharmacy, all in Alum Creek; and Trivillian's Pharmacy in Kanawha City.
State law strictly prohibits pharmacies from distributing pills without a doctor's prescription.