West Virginia settles opioid lawsuit with McKesson for $37M

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia has settled its lawsuit against the opioid distributor McKesson for $37 million.

A Thursday news release from Gov. Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says it’s thought to be the country’s largest state settlement against a single pharmaceutical distributor.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 in a West Virginia circuit court. It alleged McKesson shipped millions of suspicious orders for painkillers to the state without efforts to prevent illegal diversion.

The announcement says McKesson denies wrongdoing. Voicemail messages left with McKesson were not immediately returned.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids were involved in nearly 48,000 deaths in 2017. West Virginia has the nation’s highest opioid overdose rate.

About 2,000 lawsuits have been filed nationwide targeting the drug industry amid the opioid crisis.

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