Walmart, CVS are part of a larger study involving other major pharmacies including Kroger, Walgreens.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday that Walmart and CVS Pharmacy have agreed with the state for a total of more than $147 million to settle lawsuits alleging that pharmacies “failed to maintain effective control as a distributor and distributor against diversion, which contributed [an] oversupply of opioids in the state.”
The lawsuits allege that pharmacies’ contribution to West Virginia’s oversupply of prescription opioids has resulted in “significant losses due to their past and current treatment costs, including for minors born with opioid dependence, rehab costs, naloxone, forensic expenses, self-medication. funded public insurance spending and other forms of loss to address opioid problems and loss of life.”
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“These communities will not bring back the lives lost as a result of the opioid epidemic, but we hope that these and other communities will provide significant relief to those most affected by this crisis in our state,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This project also avoided costly and lengthy litigation, and in the end, West Virginia will have the highest per capita settlement results in a nation fighting for our people.”
Walmart agreed to a $65,070,000 settlement and CVS agreed to an $82.5 million settlement. Morrisey said the CVS deal includes a provision that means West Virginia can still receive money from any future national settlements.
These funds brought the State’s total settlement of $875 million in opioid claims, including $296 million with manufacturers, $400 million with wholesalers, and $177.5 million with pharmacies.
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In August, the cities and counties of West Virginia reached a $400 million tentative agreement with three major U.S. drug distributors: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. In April, Morrisey announced that the state would receive $99 million in a settlement with Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Walmart and CVS are part of a larger trial involving other major pharmacies.
The lawsuit against Walgreens and Kroger is ongoing in the Mass Litigation Group with a trial date of June 5, 2023.
Morrisey also recently announced a settlement with Rite Aid for up to $30 million to resolve a similar litigation.
The money will be distributed in accordance with the First West Virginia Memorandum of Understanding.
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