Opioid settlement: Walmart accepts $3.1 billion settlement


New York
CNN business

Walmart agreed to the framework of a $3.1 billion settlement that resolves allegations by several state attorneys general that the company’s failure to regulate opioid prescriptions is contributing to the nationwide opioid crisis.

The agreement, according to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led a coalition of senior lawyers in the negotiation, “will include extensive court-ordered conditions that Walmart must comply with, such as strong oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and mark suspicious prescriptions.”

Walmart said in a statement that it “believes the settlement framework is in the best interests of all parties and will provide important support to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with aid reaching state and local governments faster than any other opioid settlement in the nation to date. – if all the conditions are met.”

But Walmart said it “vigorously disputes the allegations in these matters,” adding that the settlement framework does not admit liability.

The settlement will resolve virtually all opioid lawsuits and potential lawsuits brought against Walmart by state, local and tribal governments, assuming all terms of the settlement are met.

As part of the agreement, the state of New York will receive $116 million. The settlement still awaits approval from other states, but James’ office believes they will give their blessing to the deal by the end of the year.

“Attorney General James and his colleagues are optimistic that the agreement will receive the necessary 43 states’ support by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the agreement in the first quarter of 2023,” the statement said.

The attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas helped negotiate this settlement.

“Promising negotiations” are still underway with other pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS, James’ office said.

News of the multi-state settlement comes after the New York Attorney General’s office announced that it has been awarded $523 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals and affiliates for its role in the opioid crisis, marking the end of the state’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors that are not currently in bankruptcy proceedings. .