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AG Nessel Announces Settlement with Walmart Over Opioid Epidemic Allegations

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that she 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.

“Since their introduction in the marketplace, opioids have had a devastating impact on our country and our state,” Nessel said. “Walmart’s lax dispensing of prescription opioids has resulted in thousands of Michigan families being touched by substance use disorder or the death of a loved one due to opioid use. This settlement will provide needed funds for intervention and treatment, as well as hold Walmart accountable for the lack of oversight at its pharmacies.”

The settlement will include:

  • $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes, which must be used to provide 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.

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. 

Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on this deal. 

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