Skip navigation
CVS Walgreens.png

CVS, Walgreens to pay $17.3B in opioid settlement

Pharmacy retailers also will also monitor suspicious activity going forward

CVS and Walgreens continue to pay out in opioid settlements, with the two retailers most recently agreeing to pay $17.3 billion over a 15-year span.

It marks the second time in a matter of weeks Walgreens was behind an opioid settlement. In mid-May, the Northbrook, Ill.-based company agreed on a $230 million settlement with the city of San Francisco.

The nationwide settlement will amount to annual payments of $518 million from both pharmacy companies and the drug makers Teva and Allergan. CVS and Walgreens have also agreed to an order that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions.

Walgreens has previously been accused of being careless with opioid orders. In the San Francisco case, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer said Walgreens substantially contributed to the opioid epidemic and caused widespread harm. Breyer accused the retailer of having a “fill, fill, fill” culture where over 1.2 million opioid prescriptions came in between 2006 and 2020 and less than 5% were properly scrutinized.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul applauded the settlement in Illinois, saying “these agreements build upon the important progress we’ve already achieved through previous settlements as we continue working to hold responsible companies accountable.” Illinois will receive some $518 million over 15 years. Other states which will receive settlement payouts include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana,
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin 

In addition to the Illinois and San Francisco settlements, Walgreens reached a deal for a $638 million payout in Florida last year — another opioid-related settlement — and additionally settled a separate, $10.7 billion opioid lawsuit, another suit which involved CVS, on the East Coast.

Walgreens will be paying $5.7 billion over 15 years in the East Coast settlement which involved a coalition of 17 state attorney generals.

To date, Walgreens and CVS have not admitted to any fault in any of the opioid settlements in which they’ve been involved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.