by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
WASHINGTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey met Tuesday with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to discuss their shared fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic.

 
Attorney General Morrisey applauded the Justice Department’s formation of the Prescription Interdiction and Litigation task force. It will target opioid manufacturers and distributors, examine potential legislative and regulatory changes in existing law and assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and law enforcement at all levels.
 
“I commend Attorney General Sessions for his leadership in this area,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our office has been as aggressive as any to ensure accountability within the pharmaceutical supply chain.
 
“Eradicating this deadly scourge requires a holistic solution from a supply, a demand and an educational perspective. This includes removing barriers within government where significant challenges remain.”
 
The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office reached more than $47 million in settlements with 12 drug wholesalers, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in the state’s history. A similar case remains ongoing against McKesson Corporation.
 
Furthermore, Attorney General Morrisey has enforced the law against physicians and pharmacies, including lawsuits against three pharmacies and the shut down of a pain clinic in Raleigh County.
 
Attorney General Morrisey also led 37 states and territories urging health insurance companies to examine financial incentives, including coverage and payment policies that may unintentionally incentivize the prescription of opioids as opposed to non-opioid alternatives for treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain.
 
Earlier this month, Attorney General Morrisey proposed a five-point legislative strategy in recommending a significant surge in law enforcement and prosecutions, anti-retaliation protection for prescribers, tough prevention measures in Medicaid, mandatory checks of the state’s prescription drug monitoring database and adoption of a three-day limit for all initial opioid prescriptions.
 
Attorney General Morrisey’s awareness programs also have reached tens of thousands through middle school presentations, football games, design contests and faith conferences aimed at engaging the community in a lasting solution.
 
Tuesday’s meeting coincided with this week’s Winter Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington.