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Article

25 Jan 2023

Author:
Leah Willingham, Associated Press (published on USA Today)

USA: Walgreens agrees to $83 million settlement over opioid crisis in West Virginia

"West Virginia announces $83 million opioid settlement with Walgreens", 18 Jan 2023

West Virginia has settled for $83 million with Walgreens for the pharmacy store chain's role in perpetuating the opioid crisis in the U.S. state with the most per capita overdose deaths, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey...

That brings the total West Virginia dollars brought in from opioid litigation to more than $950 million, according to the Attorney General's office. The state now has one remaining opioid case to close out. A trial with Kroger is set for June...

The settlement resolves a lawsuit that alleged the pharmacy chain failed to maintain effective controls against diversion that contributed to oversupply of opioids in the state.

Walgreens agreed to pay the settlement within an eight-year period, Morrisey said. The money from all opioid settlements will be distributed throughout the state to abate the opioid crisis.

Walgreens is part of a larger litigation involving other major pharmacies — Kroger, Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid.

Morrisey announced in September that Walmart and CVS Pharmacy were settling with West Virginia for a combined total of $147 million in a lawsuit over the companies' roles in contributing to the oversupply of prescription drugs that fueled the opioid epidemic.

In August, West Virginia cities and counties reached a $400 million tentative settlement with three major U.S. drug distributors: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. In April, Morrisey announced the state would receive $99 million in a settlement finalized with Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc...