Walgreens has become the latest major pharmacy to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of West Virginia over claims that the company contributed to the opioid crisis in the state.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday that Walgreens will pay $83 million to settle the litigation that alleges it "failed to maintain effective controls as a distributor and dispenser against diversion that contributed to oversupply of opioids in the state."
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey presents opening arguments during the first day of the trial against opioid drug manufacturers in Charleston, W.Va., on April 4, 2022. (Kenny Kemp/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP/File / AP Newsroom)
"We will continue to seek out justice for those affected the most by the opioid epidemic that hit our state the hardest," Morrisey said in a statement. "This and other settlements will not bring back the lives lost from the opioid menace, but our hope is that the money would provide significant help to those affected the most by this crisis in West Virginia."
Other defendants in the broader litigation include CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid and Walmart.
Rite Aid settled with West Virginia last August for up to $30 million. Then Walmart and CVS both reached agreements with the state the following month for payouts of $65 million and $82.5 million, respectively.
Kroger remains the only holdout.
State and local governments have reached some $50 billion in settlements in recent years with major pharmacies, drug distributors and manufacturers over their purported roles in the opioid crisis in the U.S. (AP / File / AP Images)
Ticker Security Last Change Change % CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 88.17 -1.19 -1.33%WMT WALMART INC. 140.83 -3.56 -2.47%WBA WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC. 35.61 -0.72 -1.98%RAD RITE AID CORP. 3.26 -0.11 -3.26%KR THE KROGER CO. 45.27 -0.91 -1.97%
Walgreens declined to comment specifically about the West Virginia settlement when reached by FOX Business on Wednesday, instead pointing to a statement the company put out in November to announce that it had agreed to a framework for paying out up to $4.95 billion in multi-state opioid settlements.
The pharmacy chain said in the statement at the time that "the settlement frameworks include no admission of wrongdoing or liability by the company."
Walgreens has become the latest major pharmacy to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of West Virginia over claims that the company contributed to the opioid crisis in the state. (Lane Turner / The Boston Globe via Getty Images / File / Getty Images)
In recent years, state and local governments have reached some $50 billion in settlements with pharmacy chains, drug distributors and manufacturers for their purported roles in the opioid crisis across the U.S.
FOX Business' Paul Best contributed to this report.