CVS, Walgreens among companies to pay SC in opioid settlements

CVS is one of four companies that have agreed to pay more than $17.3 billion to resolve claims...
CVS is one of four companies that have agreed to pay more than $17.3 billion to resolve claims nationally over the next 15 years related to the opioid crisis, Attorney General Alan Wilson said.(WITN)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 2:45 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State Attorney General Alan Wilson says South Carolina will receive $242 million in settlements with four companies for what he calls their roles in the opioid crisis.

Teva, Allergan, CVS and Walgreens have agreed to pay more than $17.3 billion to resolve claims nationally over the next 15 years. The $242 million amount will be South Carolina’s share of the multi-billion settlement, Wilson said.

“The opioid crisis is the deadliest drug epidemic in US history, and it was created and fueled by numerous companies,” Wilson said. “We’ve seen the lives lost and families ruined. That’s why my office and attorneys general across the country have been working for years to hold these companies accountable and make them change the way they do business. This settlement and the changes these companies are making will mean more South Carolinians will be alive, healthy, and happy.”

CVS and Walgreens, along with Walmart, in a settlement Wilson announced last month, have also agreed to injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions.

Teva and Allergan have agreed to a prohibition on promoting opioids, both directly and through third-party front groups, and engaging in opioid-related lobbying activities.

The companies must also turn over millions of documents produced in litigation to the public. This injunctive relief will help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again, a release from Wilson’s office states.

Under the terms of these agreements, counties and eligible cities will now have an opportunity to review the terms and sign on during the first quarter of 2023.

As in previous settlements with the three major opioid distributors and with Johnson & Johnson, nearly all of the settlement funds must be used to abate the opioid crisis, Wilson said. Those measures include education, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services. 

With full participation by counties and eligible cities, South Carolina will have nearly $600 million in funds for opioid abatement over the next 15 years.

The payments are structured to ensure critical support in early years as well as sustained resources over time.

CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years; Teva’s payments will be spread over 13 years, and Allergan’s payments will be spread over 7 years.

If there is sufficient sign-on, payments will begin during the second half of 2023.