Last week, Secretary 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.
“The 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 process.
“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.