5 drug wholesalers agree to settle pill shipment lawsuit
MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — Five drug wholesalers have agreed to a $4.2 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging that they shipped an excessive number of prescription opioids to West Virginia, the attorney general said Thursday.
According to a news release, the settlement involves Anda Inc., The Harvard Drug Group, Associated Pharmacies, KeySource Medical Inc. and Quest Pharmaceuticals. As part of the settlement, they deny the lawsuit’s allegations.
Miami-Luke previously agreed to settle for $2.5 million, bringing the total in the lawsuit to $6.7 million.
In 2012, then-Attorney General Darrell McGraw sued 12 prescription drug wholesalers. The companies distributed painkillers to notorious “pill mill” pharmacies in West Virginia’s smallest towns and poorest counties, according to court documents that the Charleston Gazette-Mail requested to have unsealed.
Court records show the drug distributors shipped large quantities of oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets to small towns, supplying mom-and-pop pharmacies that filled prescriptions from doctors, the Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/1OKAs0Y ) has reported previously.
The attorney general, drug wholesalers, and state departments of Health and Human Resources and Military Affairs and Public Safety settled to avoid delay, expense and inconvenience, and uncertainty of prolonged litigation, the release says.
The settlements include: $1.9 million with Anda; $1 million with The Harvard Drug Group; $850,000 with Associated Pharmacies; and $250,000 each with KeySource Medical and Quest Pharmaceuticals. They must pay the full amounts between two to 30 days of the settlement’s execution, a time that varies among the settlements.
Litigation against the remaining defendants is ongoing in Boone County Circuit Court.
Boone Circuit Judge William Thompson is allowing companies that settle with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office to keep secret information about pill shipments to specific pharmacies in southern West Virginia, according to an order issued in May.
In the recently unsealed documents, Thompson redacted pill shipment details for Miami-Luken, Associated Pharmacies, KeySource Medical and four other drug firms actively negotiating settlements with Morrisey’s office.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.