Hatfield praised the commission's 3-2 vote to dismiss the lawsuit.
"We are pleased. We are relieved. We believe [the commission] did the right thing," said Hatfield, who was accompanied by pharmacy employees at Tuesday's commission meeting in Madison. "They want to move on."
Boone County Commissioner Al Halstead, who voted against dropping the lawsuit, said something must be done to combat prescription drug abuse in the county. Boone County has the third highest death rate for drug abuse overdoses in West Virginia during the past decade.
Halstead said the lawsuit offered a new and innovative way to tackle the county's problem with prescription painkillers.
"I felt it was the proper thing to do," he said after Tuesday's vote. "We need help. Our people need help."
Charleston lawyer James Cagle, who filed the lawsuit earlier this month, said he was disappointed by the commission's about-face. Cagle said county prosecutors, drug enforcement agents and private investigators helped identify the pharmacies named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged the "pill mill" pharmacies turned a blind eye to the prescription drug problem and knew many of the pills they distributed weren't being used for medical purposes.
"We had a fact-based complaint," Cagle said.
Boone County commissioners are the second group of elected officials to drop a lawsuit against pharmacies in West Virginia this year.
In August, the McDowell County Commission voted unanimously to authorize Cagle to sue pharmacies in that county. Last week, McDowell commissioners voted unanimously to withdraw the lawsuit.
Tomblin's 2012 substance abuse bill required pain management clinics to secure licenses with the state. The bill also upgraded the state's controlled substances database so that it flags suspicious prescriptions and purchases of pain pills.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.