CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch and Department of Military Affairs Secretary and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy announced Tuesday plans to start a grant program focused on combating drug addiction, utilizing settlements from two drug distributors.
In January, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health agreed to pay $16 million and $20 million respectively to the state to resolve allegations of shipping massive amounts of prescription drugs into West Virginia. Both companies have to also comply in reporting suspicious orders sent to the state.
Both companies have denied any wrongdoing.
The two secretaries said in a joint statement they are finalizing a memorandum of understanding to use the settlements to fight drug addiction with prevention and treatment efforts.
“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,” Crouch said.
“West Virginia will significantly enhance its enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts through the plan we are developing,” Sandy said. “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.”
Details on the memorandum will be made public after the grant application process is finalized.