Walmart has agreed to a $3.1 billion settlement framework to resolve substantially all lawsuits (current and potential) by state, local and tribal governments related to the opioid crisis.
According to a company press release, Walmart believes the settlement framework is in the best interest of all parties and will provide significant aid to communities across the country, with the money reaching state and local governments faster than any other nationwide opioid settlement to date, subject to satisfying all settlement requirements.
The retailer also has established an Opioid Stewardship program and has taken steps to fight the opioid epidemic, including:
- Educating and empowering pharmacists;
- Reducing the amount of opioids dispensed;
- Protecting against diversion and theft;
- Increasing access to overdose reversal medication;
- Educating patients and communities about opioid abuse; and
- Advocating for state and national policies aimed at curbing opioid abuse and misuse.
In 2021, an Ohio federal jury found that Walmart, CVS Health and Walgreens contributed to opioid overdoses and deaths in Lake and Trumbull counties, one of many suits brought by governments against both drug companies and pharmacies. Earlier this month, Walgreens and CVS agreed to a $10 billion settlement for suits brought against them by governmental authorities.