"These controlled substances dispensed are given at the direction of licensed prescribers," Stevens said.
The Boone County lawsuit alleges that prescription drug abuse costs the county millions of dollars a year and "destroys the very quality of life in the community."
The problems forces the county commission to spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in regional jail fees to house inmates who commit crimes related to prescription painkillers, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit also says the pharmacies failed to design a system to flag suspicious pain-pill orders, and didn't alert authorities about customers who picked up excessive quantities of prescription painkillers.
"Defendants knew or should have known they were profiting from an abnormally dangerous, ultra-hazardous, and inherently dangerous activity," the suit alleges.
Boone County commissioners aren't the first group of elected officials to reconsider a lawsuit against "pain pill" pharmacies in West Virginia.
In late August, the McDowell County Commission voted unanimously to authorize Cagle and DiTrapano to sue pharmacies in that county. McDowell commissioners voted unanimously last week to withdraw the lawsuit.
Cagle and DiTrapano also are representing the state Attorney General's office in lawsuits against 14 out-of-state drug firms that distribute pain pills to pharmacies in Southern West Virginia.
Former Attorney General Darrell McGraw's office filed the lawsuit in June 2012.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican who defeated McGraw in the November election, has said he recused himself from one of the lawsuits -- against Cardinal Health. Morrisey's wife, Denise Henry, has lobbied in Washington, D.C. for Cardinal Health for more than a decade.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.