West Virginia settles with Rite Aid for up to $30 million in opioid litigation


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) –

The State of West Virginia reached a settlement with Rite Aid of up to 30 million dollars.

The West Virginia Attorney General’s office announced the state reached a settlement with Rite Aid of up to 30 million dollars.

The settlement was announced Thursday, August 11th, weeks before the First Annual National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day.

The new national awareness day was established on August 21st by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Rite Aid settlement is the latest in settlements reached by the state. At the beginning of the month, the state won a settlement of around $400 million dollars against the “Big Three” opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.

The $30 million settlement will benefit All 55 counties. The money will be distributed through the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding, the same as the other settlement monies. Attorney General Morrisey broke down the distribution as, 3% held by the state for future litigation, 24.5% going directly to counties and subdivisions, and 72.5% is going to the W.VA. First Foundation.

West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said that this is important for W.VA. and will go after the problem holistically from a supply, a demand, and an educational perspective.

“The funds that we’re creating I think are really going to be very powerful and different than just rhetoric. They’re really going to put real money on the ground to address the problems based upon needs assessments done the right way.”

Morrisey said that the pharmaceutical companies need accountability.

He explained the process as, “…We’ve made allegations, the trial gives up an opportunity to prove those allegations. And I think what the other companies are going to see is that as they proceed, we’re going to have some compelling information to prove our allegations. And I think Rite Aid reached a particular point where it was comfortable, and we were comfortable, reaching agreement and we’re hopeful that others might come to the same conclusion. But as we’ve demonstrated repeatedly, we’re not afraid to go to trial.”

Morrisey explained that the companies have a duty to put safeguards in place that flag unusually high volumes of prescriptions, and to make sure their products are not going towards illegal or improper places.

According to him, they filed litigation against many of the major pharmacies several years ago. He said they do have a trial scheduled in September with other companies including Walgreens, Walmart and CVS.

We’ll continue to update on the litigations as we get new information.


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