Nashville – Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti today announced that he has reached a settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores. The settlement will provide more than $3 billion nationally and will require significant improvements in how Walmart’s pharmacies handle opioids.
State attorneys general on the executive committee, attorneys representing local governments, and Walmart have agreed to this settlement, and it is now being sent to other states for review and approval.
Under the settlement, Tennessee and its local governments could receive more than $70 million if all incentives are met.
“Tennessee and its people continue to suffer from the ravages of the opioid epidemic, but this settlement will provide further resources toward recovery,” said Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. “The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office continues to serve as a leader in the national effort to hold opioid distributors accountable.”
Walmart will pay over $3 billion in total.
“As part of this effort, Walmart has committed to pay over $3 billion nationwide and to ensure safeguards that will help protect its customers from opioid misuse,” said Skrmetti. “I expect this settlement will result in significant additional funding for Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Trust Fund and will create new opportunities to help our communities fight back against opioid abuse. I am proud of the work our Consumer Protection Division in securing this settlement. This deal with Walmart adds to the progress we have already achieved through our settlements with the opioid manufacturers and distributors – and we’re not done yet.”
The settlement will include:
- More than $3 billion to be divided by participating states and local governments, which must be used to abate the opioid crisis through efforts such as providing treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder.
- Broad, court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.
With additional funds for a separate agreement with tribes, Walmart has committed $3.1 billion to settle governmental claims and provide resources for abatement.
The parties are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the deal during the first quarter of 2023. Further details about how the money will be distributed will be forthcoming. Last month, states confirmed that promising negotiations were also underway with Walgreens and CVS. The parties continue their efforts to achieve those agreements.
General Skrmetti joined Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas as the lead negotiators on this deal.