Walgreens Boots Alliance pays $683 million to settle with the state of Florida to resolve claims it contributed to the opioid epidemic.
In a statement Thursday, Walgreens stated the settlement will “resolve all claims associated to the distribution and dishing out of prescription opioid drugs throughout the corporate’s pharmacies within the state.”
The $683 million settlement consists of $620 million that Walgreens stated might be paid “out to the State of Florida over 18 years, in addition to a one-time fee of $63 million for attorneys’ charges.” Walgreens stated the settlement consists of “no admission of wrongdoing or legal responsibility by Walgreens.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the nationwide opioid disaster has led to greater than a half million deaths from overdose within the final 20 years.
Investigations by state and federal attorneys in addition to legal professionals in non-public practices representing households of opioid victims have cited the position of distributors within the epidemic. A 2019 investigative report in the Washington Post stated Walgreens “dealt with practically one in 5 of essentially the most addictive opioids” on the peak of the disaster surrounding the painkiller and acted as its “own distributor.”
For its half, Walgreens stated it has taken “various actions to forestall and reply to the opioid disaster, whereas persevering with to serve sufferers” as certainly one of Florida’s largest healthcare suppliers. These embrace offering affected person schooling about secure opioid use and offering medicine disposal kiosks obtainable at 1,400 Walgreens shops.
“As the most important pharmacy chain within the state, we stay centered on and dedicated to being a part of the answer, and consider this decision is in the very best curiosity of all events concerned and the communities we serve throughout Florida,” Walgreens Boots Alliance government vp and world chief authorized officer Danielle Grey stated in a press release. “Our pharmacists are devoted healthcare professionals who dwell and work within the communities they serve, and play a crucial position in offering schooling and sources to assist fight opioid misuse and abuse.”
Florida is the primary state to settle its opioid claims in opposition to main pharmacy chains together with Walgreens and CVS Well being, according to media reports in the state, which has collected greater than $1 billion from these corporations.