West Virginia sues CVS, Walmart over opioid epidemic

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed separate lawsuits against CVS and Walmart Aug. 18, claiming the companies helped create the state's opioid crisis, The Hill reported.

CVS and Walmart both "reaped billions of dollars in revenues while causing immense harm to the state of West Virginia and its residents," the lawsuit claims. 

Mr. Morrisey accused the companies of failing to monitor and report suspicious orders of opioids and of ordering more pills from other distributors to fulfill demand. 

"We must hold everyone accountable for the roles they played in the opioid epidemic and continue to push toward solutions that go after the root cause of the problem," Mr. Morrisey said in a news release.

Walmart and CVS were both among the top 10 opioid distributors in West Virginia between 2006 and 2014, The Hill reported. 

Mr. Morrisey filed similar lawsuits against Rite Aid and Walgreens in June. 

Walmart didn't respond to The Hill's request for comment. 

A CVS spokesperson told The Hill: "We believe the state of West Virginia’s complaint against us is misguided. Opioids are made and marketed by drug manufacturers, not pharmacies. We dispense opioid prescriptions written by a licensed physician for a legitimate medical need."

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