x

Society

Walmart Offers to Pay $3.1 Billion to Settle Opioid Lawsuits

November 15, 2022

Retail giant Walmart on Tuesday become the latest major player in the drug industry to announce a plan to settle lawsuits filed by state and local governments over the toll of powerful prescription opioids sold at its pharmacies with state and local governments across the U.S.

The $3.1 billion proposal follows similar announcements Nov. 2 from the two largest U.S. pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreen Co., which each said they would pay about $5 billion.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart said in a statement that it “strongly disputes” allegations in lawsuits from state and local governments that its pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions for the powerful prescription painkillers. The company does not admit liability with the settlement plan.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a release that the company would have to comply with oversight measures, prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious ones.

Lawyers representing local governments said the company would pay most of the settlement over the next year if it is finalized.

The deals are the product of negotiations with a group of state attorneys general, but they are not final. The CVS and Walgreens deals would have to be accepted first by a critical mass of state and local governments before they are completed. Walmart’s plan would have to be approved by 43 states. The formal process has not yet begun.

The national pharmacies join some of the biggest drugmakers and drug distributors in settling complex lawsuits over their alleged roles in an opioid overdose epidemic that has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades.

The tally of proposed and finalized settlements in recent years is more than $50 billion, with most of that to be used by governments to combat the crisis.

In the 2000s, most fatal opioid overdoses involved prescription drugs such as OxyContin and generic oxycodone. After governments, doctors and companies took steps to make them harder to obtain, people addicted to the drugs increasingly turned to heroin, which proved more deadly.

In recent years, opioid deaths have soared to record levels around 80,000 a year. Most of those deaths involve illicitly produced version of the powerful lab-made drug fentanyl, which is appearing throughout the U.S. supply of illegal drugs.

 

RELATED

NEW YORK  — Two jurors in Donald Trump's hush money trial were dismissed Thursday, one after expressing doubt about her ability to be fair following disclosure of details about her identity and the other over concerns that some of his answers in court may have been inaccurate.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

9 Are Facing Charges in What Police in Canada Say is the Biggest Gold Theft in the Country’s History

TORONTO (AP) — Police said nine people are facing charges in what authorities are calling the biggest gold theft in Canadian history from Toronto’s Pearson International airport a year ago.

NEW YORK – Greek-American billionaire John Catsimatidis said that “his firm Red Apple Group is looking to make ‘green’ energy affordable by developing a new breed of small nuclear reactors — and the company has hired a seasoned energy executive to lead the effort,” the New York Post reported on April 17.

WASHINGTON, DC – The 3rd Nikos Mouyiaris Memorial Lecture which had been scheduled for April 20 at Rutgers University in New Jersey will be rescheduled for the fall of 2024 as the organizers received a call from U.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Greek-American Maria Passalaris, 25, was tragically killed in a car accident on April 12 on Highway 1 near Princeton, NJ.

The recent tragicomic events at the church of the All-Holy Taxiarhes in the area of Megalo Revma of Constantinople, specifically, the assault by Archimandrite Chrysanthos on Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonion which involved the slapping of the archpriest's cheeks while he was venerating the icon of the Virgin Mary, are not only lamentable but also pitiful for the Patriarchate itself.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.