Colorado is expected to get more than $150 million from a multi-billion-dollar national settlement with CVS and Walgreens for their roles in the opioid crisis. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Monday he finalized agreements with the two pharmacy companies as part of a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general that worked to secure more than $10 billion nationwide. CVS will pay $5 billion, and Walgreens will pay $5.7 billion, totaling $10.7 billion.
“I am proud to have helped lead the effort to secure more than $10 billion from these two drug store chains,” Weiser said in a news release. “The companies that helped create and fuel the opioid crisis need to step up to fix it. That means providing significant resources to increase treatment and recovery services and changing their business practices to make sure this never happens again.”
As part of the agreement, Walgreens and CVS, as well as Walmart in an earlier agreement, are required in a court-ordered injunctive relief to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions. This will help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again, according to the news release. In total, Colorado is slated to receive more than $700 million from national opioid settlements with drug manufacturers, distribution companies, and the pharmacies.
All settlement funds Colorado receives will be distributed according to the same opioid framework agreed to by the state and Colorado’s local governments in August 2021, and funds must be used to address the opioid crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services. Most of Walmart’s amount will be paid during the first year; CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years. Payments could begin as early as the second half of 2023.
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