Drug maker thwarted plan to limit OxyContin prescriptions at dawn of opioid epidemic
OxyContin (Shutterstock)

WELCH, W. Va. - The warning signs of what would become a deadly opioid epidemic emerged in early 2001. That's when officials of the state employee health plan in West Virginia noticed a surge in deaths attributed to oxycodone, the active ingredient in the painkiller OxyContin. They quickly decided to do something about it: OxyContin prescriptions…