AG Kaul Announces $10.7 Billion in Agreements with CVS and Walgreens over Opioid Epidemic Allegations
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced that the executive coalition of states and attorneys representing local governments have finalized agreements with CVS and Walgreens to resolve allegations that the pharmacies contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at their stores. CVS will pay $5 billion, and Walgreens will pay $5.7 billion, totaling $10.7 billion. Under the CVS and Walgreens agreements, Wisconsin is expected to receive over $173 million in opioid abatement funding.
“The hundreds of millions of dollars coming to Wisconsin through agreements like these will have a major impact on efforts to curb substance-use disorder in communities across the state,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Fighting the opioid epidemic is a top priority at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.”
In addition to the financial settlement, CVS and Walgreens have agreed to court-ordered injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions. This court-ordered injunctive relief will help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again.
The terms of this agreement will now go to the states for their review. Each state will have until the end of 2022 to indicate an intent to join, after which the Walgreens and CVS agreements will go to local governments around the country for sign-on during the first quarter of 2023. Nearly all of the settlement funds must be used to remediate the opioid crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.
The payments are structured to ensure critical support in early years as well as sustained resources over time. CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years. If there is sufficient sign-on, payments will begin during the second half of 2023.
The negotiations have been led by Attorneys General from North Carolina, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.