Date: 3rd May 2019
The state of West Virginia had alleged McKesson of bolstering the opioid crisis as it did not monitor potential shady orders of painkiller drugs by pharmacies across the state. On Thursday, the state’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced McKesson will pay $37 million as a settlement of the lawsuit.
McKesson is not the only drug distributor who has faced such penalties imposed by the state. Various other distributors have been held under suspicion and the settle announced on Thursday was just one of many going on at the moment. These other distributors include Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. among others.
As per past records, the amount to be paid by McKesson for settlement of the lawsuit is the largest one paid by any drug distributor in such a case. The payment of the settlement would not be one-off; it has been distributed over a period of five years. $14.5 million will be paid this year, followed $4.5 million each year for the next five years. The agreement of the settlement stated that the funds received as a settlement from the company will be employed in fighting the opioid epidemic which has plagued many regions of the country.
While the company has agreed to settle through the compensation mentioned above, it remains persistent on refusing any allegation of wrongdoing.
The company said in a statement that it is delighted to see that the settlement would be used to combat the crisis that has affected the whole nation. Besides that, it said that the organisation is itself determined to put an end to this national crisis.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 47,600 deaths in 2017 due to an overdose of opioids, fentanyl and heroin. This is increased concerns about such drugs and has put drug distributors under suspicion. Various lawsuits have been filed against drug manufacturers like Purdue Pharma besides distributor McKesson.