AG Jennings Announces Over $10 billion in National Opioid Settlements with CVS and Walgreens

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The Delaware AG’s office has finalized settlement 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 over $50-billion. Delaware will receive over $43-million. CVS will pay $5-billion and Walgreens will pay $5.7-billion. AG Jennings will also join two separate national settlements with opioid manufacturers – Teva and Allergan. This will bring an additional $25.2-million to Delaware’s fight against the opioid crisis.

Additional information from AG’s Press Release:
These agreements build on prior opioid settlements by AG Jennings with Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson (valued at $111.3 million for Delaware); Purdue Pharma (valued at up to $50 million); Walmart ($11.8 million); Mallinckrodt (valued at up to $4.8m); McKinsey & Co. ($2.58 million); and Endo (valued at up to $2 million) for a total of roughly $250 million in expected opioids-related recoveries.

“The true cost of the epidemic is measured in lives, not dollars,” said Attorney General Jennings. “Delaware has suffered one of the nation’s worst fatal overdose rates — just four days ago, public health officials announced that November 2022 is expected to set a new record for overdose fatalities. This is an especially painful time of year for families who have lost loved ones, and I am mindful of the fact that no amount of money can fully repair the damage done to our state. The task ahead of us is to save as many lives as we can; to support Delawareans in recovery; and to continue to hold Big Pharma accountable for its hand in the crisis.”

In addition to the financial terms, the settlements with CVS and Walgreens — and an earlier settlement with Walmart — include 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 is intended to help prevent similar crises from occurring in the future.

With the finalization of settlement terms, each state will have an opportunity to review and to join, after which the five agreements (Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Teva and Allergan) will go to local governments around the country for sign-on during the first quarter of 2023. As a member of the leadership group of States negotiating the pharmacy settlements, AG Jennings’ office played an active role and has thus already reached a decision to join each settlement.

Pursuant to Senate Bill 166, bipartisan legislation supported by AG Jennings, Delaware’s share of these and any other opioid settlements will go to the State’s Prescription Opioid Settlement Distribution Fund, which is governed by an independent commission. Spending from the Settlement Fund is largely restricted to services that reduce or remediate the harms caused by opioids.

Payments under these agreements 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; Allergan’s payments will be over 7 years; CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Teva’s payments will be over 13 years; and Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years. If there is sufficient sign-on, the first payments will begin arriving in 2023.

Delaware led these negotiations in concert with the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.