AG, DHHR and DMAPS reach $800K in settlements with three drug companies

By Chris Dickerson | Nov 21, 2016

CHARLESTON —The state Attorney General, the state Department of Health and Human Resources and the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, have reached combined settlements of $800,000 with three prescription drug wholesalers.

The settlements push the total paid to West Virginia in excess of $7.5 million, and they resolve allegations brought by the three plaintiffs that the distributors failed to detect, report and stop the flood of suspicious drug orders into the state.

The settlements also expand each distributor’s responsibility to report suspicious orders by requiring it alert West Virginia State Police and the Attorney General’s Office.

J.M. Smith Corporation, also known as Smith Drug Company, Top Rx and Masters Pharmaceutical LLC make it now nine companies to settle in the broader case, West Virginia v. Amerisource Bergen et. al.

According to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office, the plaintiffs intend to use their portions of settlement funds to further the collective fight against substance abuse in West Virginia. Litigation against the remaining defendants continues in Boone Circuit Court.

J.M. Smith, Top Rx and Masters denied any allegation of liability as part of the agreement. The lawsuit alleged each of those companies distributed far fewer pills than some other defendants in the case.

The settlements received approval from the Attorney General’s Office, along with Gov. Tomblin’s DHHR and DMAPS. All parties agreed to the settlement to avoid the delay, expense, inconvenience and uncertainty of protracted litigation.

Individually, the settlements are valued at $400,000 with J.M. Smith and $200,000 each with Top Rx and Masters.

Miami-Luken previously entered into a settlement of $2.5 million, in addition to prior settlements valued at $1,865,250 with Anda Inc., $1 million with The Harvard Drug Group and $850,000 with Associated Pharmacies, along with $250,000 each with KeySource Medical Inc. and Quest Pharmaceuticals.

Terms require J.M. Smith, Top Rx and Masters to pay the full, agreed upon amount within 30 days of the settlement’s execution, a time specified within each settlement.

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