W.Va. reaches $161.5M settlement with drugmakers over opioid crisis

FILE - Nancy Rose, who contracted COVID-19 in 2021 and continues to exhibit long-haul symptoms including brain fog and memory difficulties, pauses while organizing her desk space, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Port Jefferson, N.Y. Rose, 67, said many of her symptoms waned after she got vaccinated, though she still has bouts of fatigue and memory loss. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, found that up to a year after an initial coronavirus infection, 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and older had at least one potential long COVID health problem, compared with 1 in 5 younger adults. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

FILE – Nancy Rose, who contracted COVID-19 in 2021 and continues to exhibit long-haul symptoms including brain fog and memory difficulties, pauses while organizing her desk space, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Port Jefferson, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

OAN NEWSROOM
UPDATED 1:40 PM PT – Thursday, May 26, 2022

Attorneys for the state of West Virginia reached a tentative multi-million dollar settlement with two drug companies for their role in the state’s opioid crisis.

Following a six week trial in Kanawha Circuit Court, West Virginia settled with Teva and Allergan for $161.5 million. According to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, that’s the largest opioid settlement to date in state.

“We took a lot of risk to do the absolute right thing and it’s paid off for West Virginia,” Morrisey said.

The lawsuit against Teva and Allergan was filed in 2019 in Boone County Circuit Court. Prosecutors accused the companies of using “misleading” and ”deceptive” marketing tactics to ”misrepresent” the “risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.” The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated West Virginia’s overdose deaths were more than three times the national rate in 2020.

Teva said it will pay $83 million in cash and provide a 10 year supply of Narcan, a drug used to stop opioid overdoses, which the state valued at $27 million. Allergan said it will pay $51.2 million.

More than three thousand lawsuits have been filed against drug makers, distributors and pharmacies over the US public health crisis.

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