Walmart Wants To Pay $3.1 Bn Over Sales of Opioids At Its Pharmacies

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Author: Perez Morris

American Retailer Walmart has agreed to pay the sum of $3.1B to settle thousands of local and state lawsuits indicting pharmacy chains for the improper sale and mismanagement of opioid, pain relief medications.

Walmart Agrees To Pay $3.1B Over Sales of Opioids At Its Pharmacies.

Walmart will settle $3.1B for the sales of potent opioids at its pharmacies, making it the most recent company to pledge significant financial support to tribal, local, and state governments combating opioid overdose crises. 

The retailer’s agreement on Tuesday comes after Walgreen Co. and CVS Health, two of America’s largest pharmacy chains, pledged to pay $5.7B over 15 years and $5B over 10 years, respectively. However, neither company admitted to any misdoings.

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“As the second-largest pharmacy chain in America, we’ll forever commit our efforts to find a solution to this drug epidemic,” Walgreen announced in a statement last week. “Our settlement scheme focuses on the health of our patients while supplying lasting contributions to resolving the national opioid crisis.”

General Counsel at CVS, Thomas Moriarity, says the deal works for the welfare of all involved parties, including its customers and workers and that the company is proud to play a part in resolving the opioid emergency.

The Battle Against Opioids

Most distribution companies and drugmakers actively producing opioids are already working on settlements with the U.S. govt. These developments may illustrate a crucial transformation in the substance litigation situation. There has been questions about whether drug manufacturers and distribution companies would answer for the opioid saga that the intensive production of prescription medicines has led to.

In over 3,000 lawsuits filed since 2017, tribal, local, and state governments blamed drug manufacturers for sugarcoating the risks associated with their opioid medicines and pharmacies for overlooking indicators that the medications were being redirected into drug trafficking rings.

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With the effects still ravaging communities across the nation, the emphasis remains fixed on how well the settlements will be utilized to reduce overdose deaths. Walgreen and CVS Health say their settlements will remain unofficial until specific proposals are agreed upon.

Settlement Doesn’t Mean Liability

According to a report from one of Walmart’s branches, it “firmly disagrees” with the allegations that its pharmacies were involved in any improper or illicit sale and movement of opioid medicines. 

“Walmart acknowledges this agreement as a significant opportunity to help local communities in America combat the opioid crisis. We plan to provide local and state governments with nationwide settlements faster than ever.”

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Lawyers on behalf of local governments say Walmart will pay the majority of its settlement over 2023 once it’s finalized. 

Final Word

Going forth, Walmart and other drug makers will be forced to comply with designated management measures, N.Y. Attorney General James Letitia said. These measures will provide oversight regulations over prescriptions and prevent fraudulent medications.

Opioids have been linked to more than half a million deaths across the country since 2000. In the last two decades, overdoses of generic opioids such as oxycodone and OxyContin resulted in the most significant fatal overdose record in American history.

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