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Walmart reaches opioid settlement agreements with all 50 states

Walmart announced opioid settlement agreements.

Walmart has exceeded the first threshold required to finalize its $3.1 billion nationwide opioid settlement framework.

The retail giant announced the news on Tuesday, saying it now has settlement agreements with all 50 states, including four states that previously settled with the company, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and three other U.S. territories. The settlements are intended to resolve substantially all opioids-related lawsuits brought by state and local governments against Walmart. 

The participation exceeded the 43 states that were required to join the nationwide settlement framework by Dec. 15 for the chain to move forward. The settlement will take effect if a sufficient number of cities and counties also join.

Walmart said it strongly disputes the allegations in these matters, and that the settlements do not include any admission of liability. The retailer also said it will continue to vigorously defend the company against any lawsuit not resolved through these settlements.

At the same time, Walmart noted that it believes the settlements are in the best interest of all parties and will provide significant aid to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with aid reaching state and local governments faster than any other nationwide opioid settlement to date, subject to satisfying all settlement requirements. 

“Walmart is helping fight the opioid crisis and is proud of its pharmacists, who help patients understand the risks about opioid prescriptions,” the retailer stated. “The company has adopted many approaches to fighting the opioid crisis as part of its industry-leading Opioid Stewardship program.”

More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed by U.S. states, cities, and counties against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, accusing them of downplaying the addiction risk and failing to stop pills from being diverted for illegal use, reported CNN.

In November, CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance announced they agreed “in principle” to financial amounts and payment terms as part of settlement frameworks to substantially resolve opioid-related litigation.  The agreements include no admission of any liability or wrongdoing by the two companies.

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