A settlement has been forged with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis.

Walmart allegedly failed to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores, Attorney General Doug Peterson said.

The settlement will provide more than $11 million to Nebraska’s Opioid Recovery Fund as well as participating cities and counties in the state, Peterson said. Nationally, the settlement amounts to more than $3 billion.

Also, settlement negotiations were also well underway in October with Walgreens and CVS. Those negotiations are expected to continue toward final settlements, Peterson said.

Walmart is said to be less culpable the CVS or Walgreens in the widespread opioid epidemic.

Peterson said Walmart filled significantly fewer prescriptions for opioids then CVS or Walgreens. Also, since 2018, Walmart has been the most proactive outlets in trying to prevent the diversion of prescribed drugs for illegal purposes through its pharmacies.

Opioid abuse takes a terrible toll on the families who have lost a loved one.

To those families, deaths “caused by an opioid addiction that started with a pain prescription, these settlements can provide little solace,” Peterson said.  “Our hope, however, is that these funds can help support strong opioid addiction treatment programs throughout our state so that we can significantly reduce opioid use disorder in Nebraska.”

The parties are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to share in the settlement during the first quarter of 2023, he said.

In addition to Nebraska, attorneys general from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, California, Louisiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on the Walmart settlement. 

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