Walgreens has reached an $83 million settlement with West Virginia to resolve claims over its role in contributing to the opioid crisis in the state. The lawsuit alleged that Walgreens failed to maintain effective controls against diversion, resulting in an oversupply of opioids. The company filled suspicious orders of prescription opioids of unusual size, deviating from a normal pattern and frequency to its own pharmacies, according to the complaint. West Virginia also argued that distributors are not entitled to be passive observers and should inform the relevant authorities of suspicious orders.
The settlement amount will be paid over an eight-year period and will be used to combat the opioid crisis throughout the state. The settlement also includes provisions for Walgreens to increase patient education on safe opioid use and to make Naloxone available in all of its pharmacies across the country.
This settlement follows similar settlements with Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid. Kroger and West Virginia are scheduled for a trial in June over Kroger’s alleged failure to report suspicious drug orders.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey expressed his hope that the money would provide significant help to those affected the most by the opioid crisis in the state, adding that the state would continue to seek justice for those affected.