An agreement in principle was announced on Wednesday for CVS and Walgreens to pay $5B apiece to settle lawsuits nationwide, while a third pharmacy giant is still working towards a deal.
These payments would bring the total value of all opioid related settlements up to more than $50 billion, with the majority of funds earmarked for state and local governments to continue the fight against opioid misuse in their communities.
The agreements in principle represent the intent of both parties to resolve the remaining nonfinancial terms within the agreed $5 billion valuation. These agreements do not admit liability of wrongdoing on the part of the companies to date.
According to The Daily Record:
“These agreements will be the first resolutions reached with pharmacy chains and will equip communities across the country with the much-needed tools to fight back against this epidemic and bring about tangible, positive change,” lawyers for local governments said in a statement. “In addition to payments totaling billions of dollars, these companies have committed to making significant improvements to their dispensing practices to help reduce addiction moving forward.”
Before these deals are finalized, state and local governments would be need to sign-off. At this point, formal offers have not yet been made to those entities but are expected to be forthcoming.
In previous settlement discussions, the State of Maryland and 58 of its 60 qualifying subdivisions elected to participate in opioid medication settlement agreements with opioids manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and three major opioids distributors, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health.