CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Thursday announced a settlement that may add up to $30 million with Rite Aid to resolve a lawsuit that alleged the pharmacy chain failed to maintain effective controls against diversion and it contributed to oversupply of opioids in the state.
“So many lives have been lost and shattered by this scourge,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “With this settlement and other settlements, we will provide significant help to those affected the most by the opioid crisis in our state.”
The lawsuit alleged that Rite Aid’s contribution to the oversupply 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.”
“Money will not bring back the lives lost from this epidemic, but we are looking for accountability,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
The money from all opioid settlements will be distributed under the terms of the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding. Announced in mid-February, the MOU is an agreement with cities and counties on how future settlement dollars would be used to abate the opioid crisis throughout the state. It contains a comprehensive plan to use those funds to abate the massive problems caused by the flood of opioids into West Virginia.
While the Rite Aid case has been settled, litigation against the remaining pharmacy defendants continues in the Mass Litigation Panel with a trial date in September.