New York will get $116 million from Walmart's $3.1 billion nationwide opioid settlement to settle allegations that it played a role in the nation's opioid crisis.
The nationwide settlement followed years of litigation by a coalition of state attorneys general and 15 other states. The agreement is not final because 43 states must agree to it by the end of the year. The attorney general stated that pharmacies played an undeniable role in the spread of opioids across the country.
Under the settlement, Walmart will also be subject to certain oversight measures aimed at combating fraudulent opioid prescriptions and other harmful practises.
The agreement, in which Walmart denies any wrongdoing, is the latest in a string of high-profile settlements involving states that had sued distributors and manufacturers in connection with the opioid crisis, which has devastated communities across the country.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a drug manufacturer embroiled in a sprawling opioid litigation, agreed to pay the state up to $523 million in a similar settlement earlier this month, according to the attorney general. In 2021, a jury in Suffolk County found Teva liable after a months-long trial over its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis. In response to opioid litigation, several other large corporations have also paid the settlements.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids will account for roughly three-quarters of all overdose deaths in 2020. According to the CDC, over 564,000 people died from opioid overdose between 1999 and 2020, including prescription and illicit opioids.
Too many families have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic, and too many people have lost years of their lives to addiction, according to North Carolina's attorney general.
The spokesperson for the company said that the company strongly disputes the allegations in these matters. He further added that Walmart believes the settlement framework is in the best interests 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, assuming all settlement requirements are met.