CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced he has reached a settlement with Walgreens and CVS to resolve allegations that the companies contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at stores.
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The bipartisan settlement provides more than $10 billion nationally and requires significant improvements to how Walgreens and CVS pharmacies dispense opioids. Raoul and 17 state attorneys general on the executive committee, attorneys representing local governments, Walgreens, and CVS have agreed to this settlement, which has been sent to other states for review and approval. The sign-on period for states will be until the end of 2022, followed by a 90-day sign-on period for units of local government. The $10.7 billion settlement will bedivided among sign-on states, local governments, and tribes, and will prioritize abatement and remediation of the opioid crises.
“The opioid epidemic has tragically affected too many Illinois families that have experienced addiction or even the death of a loved one. This $10.7 billion settlement with Walgreens and CVS builds upon the important progress we’ve already achieved with previous settlements, but more importantly, it holds both companies accountable,” Raoul said. “I am proud of the bipartisan work we are doing across state lines to hold retail pharmacies responsible. I will continue to ensure that resources Illinois receives through settlements are distributed equitably throughout the state to help fund services needed to mitigate the ongoing opioid crisis.”
Raoul said the settlement also includes broad, court-ordered requirements, such as the implementation of a robust Controlled Substance Compliance Program. The program will require independent pharmacist review of prescriptions, additional oversight of controlled substance dispensing, mandatory training and new reporting requirements.
Once the settlement goes into effect, funds to Illinois will be allocated according to the Illinois Opioid Allocation Agreement that Raoul previously reached with state’s attorneys.
The settlement with Walgreens and CVS is the latest of Attorney General Raoul’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and hold accountable companies whose deceptive practices increased opioid prescriptions at the expense of public health. It comes after Raoul’s office reached a $3 billion national settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids. Raoul’s office also recently announced an agreement in principle with opioid manufacturer Teva that would provide up to $4.25 billion once finalized, and an agreement in principle with former opioid maker Allergan that, once finalized, would require the company to pay up to $2.37 billion to participating states and local governments to assist in battling the opioid epidemic.
Last year, Raoul’s office negotiated the Illinois Opioid Allocation Agreement. The agreement is intended to ensure the approximately $760 million Illinois will receive through the historic national $26 billion opioid settlement agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson, and these additional opioid settlements, are allocated equitably, including to counties and eligible municipalities. The majority of Illinois’ money will go to the Illinois Remediation Fund to be used for abatement programs throughout the state.
Attorney General Raoul led bipartisan negotiations with the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.
Attorney General Raoul urges anyone who believes they or a loved one may be addicted to opioids to seek help by calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 833-2FINDHELP, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.