Walmart agreed to a $3.1 billion settlement over lawsuits that tie the retail giant to the longstanding opioid crisis in the US. Earlier this month, CVS and Walgreens announced “agreements in principle,” which are expected to result in $10 billion settlements.
The money will resolve “All opioid lawsuits and potential lawsuits by state, local, and tribal governments, if conditions are satisfied,” Walmart said in a statement.
News sources reported that the money will help pay for addiction treatment and drug education programs in the US. The opioid crisis has ravaged the US over the past decade and contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths from drug overdoses. About 75% of the nearly 92,000 deaths in 2020 from drug overdoses involved an opioid.
The invention of the pain medication OxyContin, in particular, was a catalyst in the opioid epidemic. The US Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency over the opioid crisis in 2017.
In Walmart’s statement on the settlement, the company said that it “strongly disputes the allegations in these matters, and this settlement framework does not include any admission of liability.” Walmart added that it remains committed to providing customers with access to their prescriptions while “helping to fight the opioid crisis facing our country.”
In a Nov. 2 statement, Walgreens said that it’s “committed to being a part of the solution, and this settlement framework will allow us to keep our focus on the health and wellbeing of our customers and patients, while making positive contributions to address the opioid crisis.”
Walgreens and CVS have each pledged to keep naloxone, also known as Narcan, in US pharmacies, and Walmart has said it will do the same “where allowed by state law.” Naloxone – if given in time to a person who is overdosing on opioids including prescription pills, heroin or fentanyl can reverse the overdose.
You can’t even go to the pharmacy or medicine cabinet without running into a legal dispute. They are EVERYWHERE! And when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business including bankruptcies, landlord/tenant matters including unlawful detainers, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!
More on the case: