Two prescription drug wholesalers, AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc., will pay $16 million and $20 million respectively to settle West Virginia’s claims relating to their distribution of controlled substances in the state. These are the latest in a number of settlements arising out of a case brought against more than a dozen companies by the state attorney general’s office, along with the Department of Health and Human Resources and Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. This settlement brings the total secured by West Virginia to more than $47 million, according to a news release from the Governor’s office.
The Plaintiffs plan to support drug-abuse prevention and treatment with their portions of the settlements. The state has one of the highest rates of nonmedical use of prescription painkillers among 19- to 25-year-olds nationwide. Opioids are the leading cause of death in drug overdoses, according to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s website. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in a news release, stated:
We’ve taken steps to combat drug abuse in West Virginia with distributors, prescribers and pharmacists, and the money form this settlement will help us expand those efforts with additional treatment and long-term recovery options.
Other settlements include a $3.5 million agreement with H.D. Smith, which resolved claims that the company failed to detect, report or stop the flow of suspicious drug orders from the state; a $2.5 million pact with Miami-Luken Inc.; and a nearly $1.9 million deal with Anda Inc. West Virginia should be commended for its actions.
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