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Bipartisan Coalition of Attorneys General Secures More Than $10 Billion in Opioid Funds from CVS and Walgreens

For Immediate Release:
Monday, December 12, 2022

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
919-716-0060

Brings total recoveries from drug industry to more than $50 billion

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he has finalized agreements with CVS and Walgreens to bring the national amount from investigations and litigation against the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid crisis to more than $50 billion. North Carolina’s share of those funds is well over $1 billion. Under today’s agreements, CVS will pay $5 billion and Walgreens will pay $5.7 billion, totaling $10.7 billion.

“This crisis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It’s the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. Too many people have died and too many more have had their lives torn apart. It is on their behalf that my colleagues and I have worked so hard on a bipartisan basis to hold accountable the companies that created and fueled this crisis. I am proud to have helped lead the effort to secure more than $10 billion from these two drug store chains, and I know that because of these agreements, more people will be alive, healthy, and happy in the coming years than otherwise would have been.”

In addition to the financial settlement, CVS and Walgreens, along with Walmart earlier, have agreed to court-ordered injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions. This court-ordered injunctive relief will help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again.

The terms of this agreement will now go to the states for their review. Each state will have until the end of 2022 to join, after which the Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS agreements will go to local governments around the country for sign-on during the first quarter of 2023. North Carolina intends to join the agreement. Nearly all of the settlement funds must be used to remediate the opioid crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.

The payments are structured to ensure critical support in early years as well as sustained resources over time. Most of Walmart’s amount will be paid during the first year; CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years. If there is sufficient sign-on, payments will begin during the second half of 2023.

The negotiations have been led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.

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