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West Virginia reaches $550k settlement in opioid case

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West Virginia has reached a $550,000 settlement with a pharmacy it accused of dispensing nearly 10 million doses of painkillers in 11 years to a county of fewer than 25,000 people, the state attorney general’s office announced Monday.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey had alleged that Larry’s Drive-in Pharmacy didn’t identify suspicious prescriptions or determine if it was dispensing a suspicious volume of opioids, according to a press release.

The pharmacy, which is no longer open, denies all wrongdoing and liability as part of the settlement and contends that its actions were legal and in compliance with all regulations, the agreement states.

“Every aspect of the pharmaceutical supply chain bears responsibility the senseless death brought upon our state,” Morrisey, who is vying for the Republican nomination to run against Sen. Joe Manchin (D), said in a statement.

“This settlement demonstrates my commitment to go after all parties, regardless of size, to ensure their conduct adhere to best practices so that our state can reach her full potential.”

The opioid epidemic has hit West Virginia particularly hard.

The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths across the country has steadily increased since 1999 and rose 28 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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