There has been a great deal of attention paid to the recent opioid crisis. Actually, it's not a recent issue, it was just elevated to the status of 'crisis' more recently. And, for good reason. But who gets the blame? A group of different state Attorney Generals has a pretty good idea.

For the second time in as many days, outgoing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has announced a major settlement with the huge company that's a household name. This time that company is Walmart.

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In a press release sent to this station, Iowa's AG confirmed the state will receive $19.9 million from Walmart as part of a multistate settlement with the big box store over its perceived part in the opioid crisis.

Walmart via Google
Walmart via Google

In the press release, AG Miller stated,

Too many lives have been lost or devastated by the opioid epidemic. My fellow attorneys general and I are holding accountable the companies that created and fueled this crisis.

Miller was careful not to make it sound like there was any legal limbo for Walmart,

This deal with Walmart adds to the important progress we've already achieved through our settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The settlement with Walmart includes: 

  • $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes. As mentioned, Iowa would receive $19.9 million.
  • The settlement money must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder. 
  • There would be court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.  

Walmart has strongly disputed its responsibility in the opioid crisis. The settlement with the retail giant has gained national attention. CNN reports in the same story that Attorneys General from New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas joined Iowa to help to negotiate the agreement with Walmart.

Iowa was part of a 43-state effort, and other states still need to approve the settlement. Miller indicated a settlement with CVS and Walgreens may be next.

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