March 20, 2023

Walmart to pay $3.1 billion to settle opioid litigation

Walmart has reached a settlement in litigation referring to the nationwide opioid epidemic totaling $3.1 billion. The settlement will successfully resolve all opioid lawsuits by state, native and tribal governments, in line with the retailer.

The hefty settlement dinged Walmart’s earnings per share by $1.11 within the third quarter, serving to to drive a web lack of 66 cents per share for the retail big. The deal additionally comes on the heels of settlements reached by rivals Walgreens and CVS final week totaling $10 billion.

“Walmart believes the settlement framework is in the perfect curiosity of all events and can present vital assist to communities throughout the nation within the combat towards the opioid disaster, with assist reaching state and native governments quicker than some other nationwide opioid settlement to this point, topic to satisfying all settlement necessities,” the corporate famous within the launch.

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies stories that 70,630 folks died from drug overdoses in 2019 alone, with an estimated 10.1 million folks misusing prescription opioids in 2019. The federal company stories that between 1999 and 2013, the speed of drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics almost quadrupled, and deaths associated to heroin have additionally elevated sharply since 2010, with a 39% improve between 2012 and 2013.

“Within the late Nineteen Nineties, pharmaceutical firms reassured the medical group that sufferers wouldn’t grow to be hooked on opioid ache relievers, and healthcare suppliers started to prescribe them at higher charges,” famous HHS. “Elevated prescription of opioid drugs led to widespread misuse of each prescription and non-prescription opioids earlier than it grew to become clear that these drugs might certainly be extremely addictive.”

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Previous to the settlement, Walmart had vowed to combat the litigation saying its pharmacists had been to not blame for the U.S. opioid disaster. Even after the settlement, Walmart stated it disputes the allegations, and the settlement framework doesn’t embody any admission of legal responsibility. Walmart stated it is going to proceed to defend the corporate towards any lawsuit not resolved by means of this settlement framework.

Walmart has adopted many approaches to combating the opioid disaster, together with educating and empowering pharmacies, lowering the variety of opioids distributed, defending towards diversion and theft, educating sufferers and communities on opioid abuse and advocating for state and nationwide insurance policies geared toward curbing opioid abuse and misuse.

Hyperlink right here for extra details about Walmart’s industry-leading Opioid Stewardship program.