(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — With a settlement announced on Monday, Dec. 12, Pennsylvania will receive more than $450 million in opioid crisis relief funds from two major retail pharmacies.
In total, CVS and Walgreens will pay out a combined $10.7 billion to multiple states ($5 billion from CVS and $5.7 billion from Walgreens). Pennsylvania’s share is about $217 million from CVS over 10 years, and $236 million from Walgreens over the next 15 years.
A press release from Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said that in total, litigation against the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid crisis has netted more than $54.1 billion, and $2.2 billion of that will come to Pennsylvania. Other companies involved in opioid litigation include Walmart, Teva, Allergen, Purdue, Malinckrodt and Endo.
“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.”
Overall, litigation has focused on manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies for their roles in the opioid epidemic.
In addition to the payouts, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart have agreed to court-ordered injunctive relief that requires pharmacies to monitor, report and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions, the attorney general’s office said.
Each state involved in Monday’s settlement will have until the end of January 2022 to review and join the settlement. After that, the agreements will go to local governments to sign-on during the first quarter of 2023.
The settlement funds must be used to “remediate the opioid crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services,” Shapiro’s office wrote.
The negotiations were 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.