Walmart has reached a $215 million settlement with Florida over claims the retail giant’s pharmacies fueled the opioid crisis in the state.
Walmart also will provide the state with naloxone kits to treat opioid overdoses.
According to the settlement, which was announced this week, Walmart is not admitting guilt to the state’s claims.
In the agreement, it is noted that the Florida Attorney General’s office did not file a lawsuit against Walmart because the stores dispensed fewer opioids overall and in smaller doses than other pharmacies.
“Walmart dispensed many fewer opioids per store and in dosages that were substantially lower than the other major chain pharmacies … and Walmart’s share of opioids distributed and dispensed in Florida was substantially lower than the other major chain pharmacies,” the agreement reads.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said: “I’m grateful for Walmart stepping up and agreeing to partner with the state to provide law enforcement and first responders with much-needed naloxone. This will greatly help in our continuing mission to end the opioid crisis.”
Naloxone is an emergency drug that helps reverse opioid overdoses, allowing victims to breathe normally. Walmart, as part of an earlier agreement, will provide 672,000 naloxone kits to Floridian first responders and law enforcement.
“This partnership is the latest chapter in Walmart’s commitment to fight the opioid crisis,” Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said, according to Reuters.
The naloxone is being provided by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. under the state’s settlement with Teva, according to the Walmart agreement.
The Teva settlement, announced in late March 2022, provides Florida with $177 million with a portion of the funds being sent directly to Florida’s cities and counties to be used on opioid abatement, as well as $84 million worth of the company’s naloxone product.