BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Following pharmacy giants like CVS and Walgreens, Bentonville’s own Walmart has announced a $3.1 billion opioid settlement framework to resolve all lawsuits by state and local governments regarding prescription opioids sold at its pharmacies.
According to a release from the retailer, the company “strongly disputes” the allegations and does not include any admission of liability in its framework. Walmart says it will continue to “vigorously defend the company against any lawsuit not resolved through this settlement framework.”
The release adds that Walmart believes the settlement framework is in the best interest of all parties and will provide “significant aid to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with aid reaching state and local governments faster than any other nationwide opioid settlement to date.”
Below is a list of what the retailer says is its approach to fighting the opioid crisis:
- Educating and empowering pharmacists
- Reducing the amount of opioids dispensed
- Protecting against diversion and theft
- Increasing access to overdose reversal medication
- Educating our patients and our communities about opioid abuse
- Advocating for state and national policies aimed at curbing opioid abuse and misuse
According to the Associated Press, opioid deaths have soared to record levels in recent years at around 80,000 a year. Most of those deaths involve illicitly produced versions of the powerful lab-made drug fentanyl, which is appearing throughout the U.S. supply of illegal drugs.