Walmart to provide $3.1 billion nationally, improve handling and oversight of opioid prescriptions
DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller announced today that he and a coalition of attorneys general have reached a $3.1 billion settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores. The settlement will provide more than $19.9 million to Iowa 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. Miller’s office served as one of the lead negotiators on the deal.
"Too many lives have been lost or devastated by the opioid epidemic,” Miller said. “My fellow attorneys general and I are holding accountable the companies that created and fueled this crisis. This deal with Walmart adds to the important progress we've already achieved through our settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. As a result, meaningful resources will help people suffering from opioid addiction get the treatment and recovery services they need, and the changes to the way pharmacies operate will ensure that this never happens again.”
The settlement will include:
- $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes. The settlement money 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.
Miller previously announced several agreements with opioid manufacturers:
- In August, Miller reached an agreement in principle with Endo International plc and its lenders that would provide up to $450 million to participating states and local governments, ban promotion of Endo’s opioids, and require Endo to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the opioid crisis for publication in a public online archive.
- In late July, Miller announced agreements in principle with two other opioid makers, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan, that would provide $6.6 billion nationally. His office is leading negotiations with the two companies.
- In February, final approval was given for the $26 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson.
- In February 2021, Miller announced that Iowa would receive $4,677,279 over five years as part of a settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Co., over its role in fueling the opioid epidemic.
If you or a loved one suffers from Opioid Use Disorder, go to IowaOpioidHelp.com to find treatment centers and other resources across the state. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office launched the site in September to provide Iowans with a path to recovery.
“Most people do not realize that addiction to opioids is treatable and that Iowans suffering from Opioid Use Disorder can successfully regain control of their lives,” AG Miller said. “There is help and hope available right now.”
For more information on opioid settlements, visit our Opioid Settlement Information page.