S.C. part of $3.1B settlement with Walmart over opioid epidemic allegations, AG says

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 11:49 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Walmart over allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis.

The attorney general’s office said the company failed to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores.

The $3.1 billion settlement will be divided by states and will require significant improvements in how Walmart’s pharmacies handle opioids.

“The opioid epidemic has taken too many loved ones and hurt too many families, but it wasn’t one person or even one company that created this problem,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “My fellow attorneys general and I are doing everything we can to hold accountable the companies that played a role in the opioid epidemic. This settlement will help people get the treatment they need while also changing the way pharmacies operate to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

The settlement includes:

  • $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes, which must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder.
  • Broad, court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on this deal.

The settlement is now being sent to other states for review and approval. All parties involved are optimistic that the settlement will gain the support of the required 43 states by the end of the year.

Details about how the money will be distributed will be released at a later date.