CVS, Walgreens Announce Billions in Opioid Settlements
(DailyVantage.com) – Nearly a million people in the US have died of drug overdoses over the last two decades, most from opioids. The question of who’s responsible for these deaths has opened a contentious debate, and thousands of lawsuits have sought to hold pharmacies and drug companies accountable throughout the years. Now, two of the biggest pharmacies in the country have agreed to pay out a collective $10 billion in damages.
On Wednesday, both Walgreens and CVS announced they had reached tentative agreements to pay approximately $5 billion each to settle lawsuits against them. Neither has admitted fault, despite the lawsuits claiming the two companies filled prescriptions they should’ve flagged as suspicious.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 2, 2022
Instead of paying individuals or those affected directly by the overdose deaths, the two pharmacies will distribute the bulk of the settlement funds — $9.7 billion — to local governments to expand initiatives, such as support programs, prevention efforts, and creating overdose antidotes to tackle the epidemic. They will pay the remainder, $285 million, to Native American tribes. CVS will disburse the funds over 10 years, while Walgreens will pay its settlement over 15 years.
NPR reports that the government continues to negotiate with Walmart, which declined to comment, and Purdue Pharma, which has a proposed $6-billion settlement on the table.
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