Bill J. Crouch of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources,
and Secretary Jeff Sandy of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs
and Public Safety, announced the establishment of a grant program to utilize
the settlement monies received from drug distributors.
The two secretaries
are finalizing details of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as mandated by
the court, which will facilitate use of their department’s share of the
approximately $36 million in settlements paid to the state.
funding from these settlements will allow the West Virginia Department of
Health and Human Resources to continue critical substance abuse initiatives and
expand prevention, treatment and recovery services,” Crouch said. “The ultimate
goal is to use these funds to further combat the substance abuse epidemic,
which in turn will provide an environment that creates more positive outcomes
for West Virginia's children and families."
The MOU will be made public in the near
future as the Cabinet secretaries work to finalize the grant application
“West Virginia will significantly enhance
its enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts through the plan we are
developing,” said Secretary Sandy. “I also believe that the resulting benefits
to public safety, through the ongoing implementation of community-based
substance abuse treatment services for the offender population, will include
the easing of regional jail costs for our counties. My thanks to DMAPS General
Counsel Thom Kirk and rest of the state’s legal team for the time and effort
that went into these settlements for the citizens of our great state.”
The settlements resolve allegations that
the defendant companies failed to detect, report and stop the flood of
suspicious prescription drug orders into the state. The settlements also
require each distributor to comply with state law in reporting suspicious
orders. The defendants denied any allegation of liability, with the parties
agreeing to settlements to avoid the delay, expense, inconvenience and
uncertainty of protracted litigation.