CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a settlement was reached between his office and Walgreens for $83 million.
The settlement resolves a lawsuit alleging the pharmacy chain failed to effectively maintain a status as a distributor and dispenser against any diversion that contributed to oversupply of opioids in the state.
“We will continue to seek out justice for those affected the most by the opioid epidemic that hit our state the hardest. This and other settlements will not bring back the lives lost from the opioid menace, but our hope is that the money would provide significant help to those affected the most by this crisis in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
Other accomplishments and factors include:
- Walgreens has agreed to pay the settlement within an eight-year period.
- Walgreens is part of a larger litigation involving other major pharmacies including Kroger, Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid.
- Walmart and CVS settled with the state last September: Walmart agreed to a settlement of $65,070,000; CVS for $82.5 million.
- Last August, Rite Aid settled for up to $30 million to resolve similar litigation.
- Kroger is the last remaining defendant in this litigation.
The lawsuits alleged that the pharmacies’ contribution to the abundance of prescription opioids in the state have caused “significant losses through their past and ongoing medical treatment costs, including for minors born addicted to opioids, rehabilitation costs, naloxone costs, medical examiner expenses, self-funded state insurance costs and other forms of losses to address opioid-related afflictions and loss of lives.”
“So many lives have been lost and shattered by this menace. We will continue to fight for those families and we will serve as the voices of the sons and daughters they have lost,” Attorney General Morrisey concluded.
The money from all opioid settlements will be given out under the terms of the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding. he Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement with the state and local governments on how future money from settlements would be used to combat the the opioid crisis going on throughout the Mountain state. This constitution is a plan with regulations to use those funds to hopefully decrease the massive problems caused by the massive flood of opioids into West Virginia.