Ark, Bentonville (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart launches a $3.1 billion opioid settlement framework to settle all lawsuits by state and local governments over prescription opioids sold in pharmacies, following similar moves by other pharmaceutical giants was announced.
The Arkansas-based retailer said it “strongly contests” the allegations and that its framework does not include an admission of liability. I will continue to strongly defend the
“Walmart believes that the Settlement Framework is in the best interest of all parties and has provided tremendous support to communities across the country in fighting the opioid crisis, making Walmart more than any other national opioid settlement to date. We can get aid to state and local governments as soon as possible,” Walmart said in a statement.
The announcement follows similar offers from CVS Health and Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. pharmacy chains, on Nov. 2, each said to pay about $5 billion.
Opioid deaths have surged to record levels in recent years, reaching about 80,000 a year, according to the Associated Press. Most of these deaths have been implicated in illegally manufactured versions of the potent, laboratory-made drug fentanyl, which can be found throughout the U.S. illicit drug supply.
Most of the pharmaceutical companies that produce the most opioids and the largest drug distributors have already reached settlements. For years, the question has been whether companies will be held accountable for the overdose crisis caused by the flood of prescription drugs.
With the crisis still raging, the focus now is on how the settlement money (which currently totals more than $50 billion) will be used, and how prescription drugs represent a relatively small percentage of the population. Whether it will help reduce record numbers of overdose deaths. Contagious disease.
The deal is the result of negotiations with a group of state attorneys general, but it is not final. The CVS-Walgreens deal must first be accepted by a critical mass of state and local governments before closing.
Walmart’s plan must be approved in 43 states by December 15, and local governments have until March 31, 2023 to sign it.
Walmart says its approach to combating the opioid crisis includes educating pharmacists, reducing opioid distribution, protecting against theft, providing access to overdose reversal medications, educating patients, and state and national abuse prevention. It states that policy advocacy is included.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://wgnradio.com/news/walmart-set-to-pay-3-1-billion-in-opioid-settlement/ Walmart Unveils $3.1 Billion Opioid Payments Framework