Walmart joins CVS and Walgreens in landmark opioid settlement
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Walmart is joining major pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens in a landmark opioid settlement with several U.S. states, cities, and Native American tribes.
The retail giant plans to pay $3.1 billion as part of a tentative agreement.
Walmart’s deal would settle allegations by state and local governments that its pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions for opioids.
Steve Skikos, an attorney for Native American tribes in the cases, said the agreement is far from a cure for the opioid crisis, but addresses resulting issues from addiction to homelessness.
“Hopefully, it will help the tribal nations, who have been very heavily impacted by this crisis to get some relief,” he said.
In a statement, Walmart said it strongly disputes allegations of any wrongdoing.
Andrew Pollis, a law professor at Case Western, said the settlement is one of many agreements involving not just pharmacies, but also opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“We have never in the history of our country had a litigation quite this big,” he said. “And so the fact that we have arrived at what appears to be pretty close to the end of it is really quite remarkable.”
Taken together, the proposed and finalized settlements amount to more than $50 billion – much of it going to governments.
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