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West Virginia reaches $400 million settlement with opioid distributors

·1 min read

More than 100 cities and counties in West Virginia will share a $400 million settlement that the state reached on Monday with opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the funds will go toward fighting the opioid epidemic.

"I’m happy to see the judicial system work as it should by benefiting West Virginia communities that have been hit hard by opioid abuse," Morrisey said in a statement on Monday.

"This settlement, along with other settlements from other cases, will provide significant help to those affected the most by the opioid crisis in West Virginia."

A Cardinal Health spokesperson told Fox Business that the funds will go to West Virginia communities in need and that the company is "committed to being a part of the solution to the opioid epidemic."

DRUG DISTRIBUTOR CONTRIBUTED TO OPIOID CRISIS BY IGNORING SIGNS OF ABUSE, FEDS SAY

Lauren Esposito, a spokesperson for AmerisourceBergen, said that the settlement will allow communities affected by opioid abuse to quickly get resources they need to fight the epidemic.

"The years of legal actions leading up to this point have shown time and time again that pharmaceutical distributors must walk a legal and ethical tightrope between providing access to necessary medications and acting to prevent diversion of controlled substances," Esposito told FOX Business on Monday.

In separate lawsuits, West Virginia has settled claims totaling more than $296 million against other opioid manufacturers and related parties, including $10 million from McKinsey, $26 million from Endo, $99 million from Johnson & Johnson, and $161.5 million from Teva and Allergan.

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McKesson did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the United States, with 81.4 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2020, according to the CDC.