HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Monday 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 $54.1 billion, with $2.2 billion coming directly to Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s share of the CVS and Walgreens settlements is more than $450 million with the additional funds coming from Walmart, Teva, Allergen, and the firms in bankruptcy, which include Purdue, Mallinckrodt and Endo.
Under Monday’s agreements, CVS will pay $5 billion and Walgreens will pay $5.7 billion, totaling $10.7 billion. Pennsylvania can expect to see about $217 million over the next 10 years from CVS and about $236 million over the next 15 years from Walgreens.
“No amount of money will bring back the lives we lost, but today’s agreement with CVS and Walgreens will help to ensure Pennsylvanians suffering from opioid addiction get the treatment and recovery resources they need,” Shapiro said. “My office is determined to hold accountable the greedy companies that created and jet-fueled the opioid epidemic. Today’s action sends a message to drug distributors and pharmaceutical companies that we’re here to always fight for the people we serve.”
The agreement is the result of a multistate investigation led by Shapiro into manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies for their roles in the opioid epidemic. That investigation has led to, including Monday’s settlement, $54.1 billion in settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and distributors.
In addition to the financial settlement, CVS and Walgreens, along with Walmart, 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 agreements with Walmart, Walgreens and CVS will go to local governments around the country for sign-on during the first quarter of 2023. 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 the early years as well as sustained resources over time. Most of Walmart’s settlement 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 Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas.