- Walmart agreed to pay the state of Florida $215 million on Thursday as part of an opioid litigation settlement
- The two parties decided not to seek trial, as the state has done with pharmaceuticals like Walgreens and CVS
- Walmart will additionally supply and dispense 672,000 naloxone kits across the state
Walmart will pay the state of Florida $215 million in a settlement for litigation pursued by Attorney General Ashley Moody regarding the company’s alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.
Legal proceedings made by the state claim that Walmart distributed and dispensed prescription opioid pain medication improperly in a fashion that has caused harm to the health of Florida residents and to the state.
Having conducted an investigation of the opioid industry, the Office of the Attorney General concluded that Walmart dispensed considerably fewer opioids per store and in dosages that were substantially lower than the other major chain pharmacies. Because of this, the settlement payout is considerably lower than other pharmacies that have been forced to pay Florida.
Further, the investigation concluded that the company implements a wide-ranging and comprehensive set of controls relating to the dispensing of prescription opioid medications and other controlled substances.
In May, the state announced the conclusion of initial opioid litigations, with $680 million recovered from Walgreens.
In a separate trial, CVS, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and two additional pharmacies were ordered to pay $870 million for opioid abatement.
As part of Walmart’s settlement, it agreed to dispense 672,000 naloxone kits across the state.
“From the beginning of my administration, I have been working to end the opioid crisis and help Florida communities recover,” said Moody. “I’m grateful for Walmart stepping up and agreeing to partner with the state to provide law enforcement and first responders with much-needed Naloxone. This will greatly help in our continuing mission to end the opioid crisis and save lives.”
In a separate initiative, the Florida Department of Health in September announced that it will ensure access to naloxone, commonly known by its brand name Narcan, to all 67 counties statewide.
Naloxone is an overdose response medication commonly used immediately following the detection of an overdose event. Once administered, the medication rapidly works to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“Addressing the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the state,” said Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Kenneth A. Scheppke. “In 2021, almost 8,000 people in Florida lost their lives to drug overdoses, the highest one-year total ever recorded in our state.”