West Virginia Reaches $147M Settlement With Walmart, CVS Over Opioid Crisis

CVS and Walmart have agreed to pay a combined total of more than $147 million to resolve civil lawsuits related to their alleged roles in perpetuating West Virginia’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Tuesday. “While we can’t take back the loss of lives and all the pain and the lost generations, we can make sure that there is accountability for a lot of the companies that did play a role in this process,” Morrisey said. CVS will pay more than $82.5 million, while Walmart will shell out more than $65 million. They were accused in the original complaints of helping to flood the state with prescription opioids, failing “to maintain effective controls as a distributor,” according to the attorney general’s office. In a statement on the settlement, CVS said, “Putting these claims behind us is in the best interest of all parties. Our position remains that opioid prescriptions are written by doctors, not pharmacists, and that opioid medications are made and marketed by manufacturers, not pharmacies.” Litigation against two other pharmacy defendants, Walgreens and Kroger, is expected to continue, with a trial date set in June.

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