BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today, November 15, announced that a proposed $3 billion nationwide settlement has been reached with Walmart, resolving allegations that the company contributed to the opioid crisis by failing to properly oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores.
“Companies that contributed to the opioid epidemic need to repair the harm they caused,” said AG Healey. “That means paying for the treatment, recovery, and support services that families need, and changing business practices to make sure a crisis like this never happens again. This nationwide settlement will provide critical resources to those struggling with this crisis and requires Walmart to implement enhanced compliance measures to prevent inappropriate dispensing in the future.”
The proposed settlement will require Walmart to:
- Pay more than $3 billion, including almost $2.4 billion for harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services for people struggling with opioid use disorder. Massachusetts and its municipalities stand to receive more than $61 million of those funds, which would be directed to the state’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund and participating municipalities, in accordance with the state’s State-Subdivision Agreement.
- Implement robust business practice changes to prevent improper and illegal dispensing.
The settlement is now being sent to states for review and approval. The parties are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the resolution during the first quarter of 2023.
Last month, states confirmed that promising negotiations were also underway with Walgreens and CVS. The parties continue their efforts to achieve those agreements.
Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on this deal.