CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that two settlements have been reached between Walmart, CVS and the state, in which more than $147 million was granted to resolve lawsuits that accused the pharmacies of failure to maintain effective controls as a distributor and dispenser, in which it could have been diverted in the first place to stop the oversupply of opioids in the state.

“These settlements won’t bring back the lives lost from the opioid epidemic, but these and other settlements will hopefully provide significant help to those affected the most by this crisis in our state. This development also avoided a costly and lengthy trial and at the end of the day, West Virginia will have the highest per capita settlement results in the nation fighting for our people.”

Attorney General Morrisey expressing his victory in this trial

Walmart leveled and agreed to a settlement of $65,070,000, while CVS surrendered the amount of $82.5 million. The large CVS settlement deal comes with a 2.25% Most Favored Nation protection, which means a guarantee that West Virginia won’t be prejudiced by a future national settlement.

These two companies involved are part of a larger trial involving other major pharmacies. There is litigation against the other defendants, which are Walgreens and Kroger. The trial with them continues before the Mass Litigation Panel on June 5, 2023.

Just before this, the Attorney General announced a settlement with Rite Aid for up to $30 million to resolve litigation that was similar.

All the opioid settlement money will be distributed under the terms of the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding. the Memorandum of Understanding, which was announced last mid-February is an agreement with the state on how future settlement dollars would be used to fight and minimalize the opioid crisis happening throughout the state. A comprehensive plan is contained to use those funds to lessen the numerous issues caused by all the opioids and opiate-related drugs in West Virginia.

The lawsuits state the following about the pharmacies’ contribution to the oversupply of prescription opioids in the state of West Virginia: “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.”

The Attorney General is hopeful that these senseless deaths from opioids will be put to a stop soon and that the state of West Virginia will fight back against the drug epidemic.