CVS reaches nationwide settlement

November 2, 2022

We are committed to working with states, municipalities and tribes, and will continue our own important initiatives to help reduce the illegitimate use of prescription opioids.

CVS Health chief policy officer Thomas Moriarty. The company announced a nationwide settlement in principle which they would pay about $5 billion to state and local governments and Native American tribes in lawsuits over how the pharmacy handled opioid prescriptions.

Background: A public health emergency was declared in 2017 regarding the opioid crisis, defined as an “increased prescription of opioid medications” in the 1990s and 2000s that “led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

Important To Note: This deal was announced in principle, meaning that it must be accepted by the Courts before CVS pays state and local governments, as well as Native American Tribes involved in the litigation.

Why It Matters: More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed against drug companies and pharmacies, accusing them of fueling the opioid crisis without providing proper oversight or reporting suspicious orders. CVS’ announcement to pay governments and tribes would make them the first major pharmacy chain to reach to a nationwide settlement” (The Associated Press).

CVS Health agrees to $5B settlement of opioid lawsuits (The Associated Press)

*Update: Walgreens also announced an agreement in principle “to pay about $5 billion … to settle lawsuits nationwide over the toll of opioids, and a lawyer said Walmart, a third pharmacy behemoth, is in discussions for a deal” (The Associated Press).*

by Jenna Lee,