West Virginia reaches multimillion-dollar settlement with Rite Aid over opioid lawsuit

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) announced a settlement with pharmacy chain Rite Aid Thursday over a lawsuit alleging the company had contributed to the oversupply of opioids in the state.

Morrissey filed the lawsuit against Rite Aid and Walgreens in 2020, alleging they had failed to monitor and report orders for opioid prescriptions.

In a statement, Morrissey said the settlement amount could amount to $30 million from Rite Aid.

“So many lives have been lost and shattered by this scourge,” Morrissey said. “With this settlement and other settlements, we will provide significant help to those affected the most by the opioid crisis in our state.”

The West Virginia lawsuit alleged that Rite Aid’s failure to oversee suspicious opioid prescription orders resulted in “significant losses through their [patients’] past and ongoing medical treatment costs,” including the cost of rehabilitation, medical treatments and minors born addicted to opioids.

West Virginia by far has the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has a death rate of 81.4 while the second highest death rate comes from Kentucky at 49.2.

This announcement comes just months after a similar agreement was reached with the drug companies Teva and Allergan for a $161.5 million settlement. At the time, Morrissey described the settlement as “record-breaking.”

The Hill has reached out to Rite Aid for comment.

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