Walmart’s $3.1B proposal to settle opioid lawsuits would include $40 million for Colorado |

Walmart’s $3.1B proposal to settle opioid lawsuits would include $40 million for Colorado

Retail giant would pay most of the settlement over the next year if it is finalized, states’ attorneys say

Geoff Mulvihill
The Denver Post
The Walmart store in Frisco pictured Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily archive

Walmart proposed a $3.1 billion legal settlement on Tuesday over the toll of powerful prescription opioids sold at its pharmacies, becoming the latest major drug industry player to promise major support to state, local and tribal governments still grappling with a crisis in overdose deaths.

The Walmart settlement would include a $40 million payment to Colorado, state Attorney General Phil Weiser announced.

The retail giant’s announcement follows similar proposals on Nov. 2 from the two largest U.S. pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreen Co., which each said they would pay about $5 billion.

Most of the drugmakers that produced the most opioids and the biggest drug distribution companies have already reached settlements. With the largest pharmacies now settling, it represents a shift in the opioid litigation saga. For years, the question was whether companies would be held accountable for an overdose crisis that a flood of prescription drugs helped spark.

With the crisis still raging, the focus now is on how the settlement dollars — now totaling more than $50 billion — will be used and whether they will help curtail record numbers of overdose deaths, even as prescription drugs have become a relatively small portion of the epidemic.


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