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 mentioned the settlement will “resolve all claims associated to the distribution and meting out of prescription opioid medicines throughout the corporate’s pharmacies within the state.”
The $683 million settlement contains $620 million that Walgreens mentioned shall 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 mentioned the settlement contains “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 attorneys in personal practices representing households of opioid victims have cited the position of distributors within the epidemic. A 2019 investigative report in the Washington Post mentioned 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 mentioned it has taken “quite a few actions to forestall and reply to the opioid disaster, whereas persevering with to serve sufferers” as one in all Florida’s largest healthcare suppliers. These embrace offering affected person training about protected opioid use and offering remedy disposal kiosks accessible at 1,400 Walgreens shops.
“As the biggest pharmacy chain within the state, we stay centered on and dedicated to being a part of the answer, and imagine this decision is in the most effective curiosity of all events concerned and the communities we serve throughout Florida,” Walgreens Boots Alliance govt vice chairman and world chief authorized officer Danielle Grey mentioned in a press release. “Our pharmacists are devoted healthcare professionals who reside and work within the communities they serve, and play a vital position in offering training and sources to assist fight opioid misuse and abuse.”
Florida is the primary state to settle its opioid claims towards 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 firms.