Illinois is set to receive a share of a $10.7 billion settlement with Walgreens and CVS over their alleged roles in contributing to the opioid epidemic, Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Monday.
The settlement with the 18 attorneys general now heads to the states for review and approval, with the funds to be divided among states, local governments and tribes that sign on to the agreement. Funds will prioritize abatement and remediation efforts.
“This $10.7 billion settlement with Walgreens and CVS builds upon the important progress we’ve already achieved with previous settlements, but more importantly, it holds both companies accountable,” Raoul said in a statement. “I am proud of the bipartisan work we are doing across state lines to hold retail pharmacies responsible.”
The attorneys general alleged the two pharmacy giants contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by “failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at stores,” per the statement.
Walgreens and CVS announced agreements in principle last month to pay about $5 billion each to settle lawsuits nationwide related to opioids. Both sides said the arrangements are not admissions of guilt and will help the companies move past the issue.
“We are committed to working with states, municipalities and tribes, and will continue our own important initiatives to help reduce the illegitimate use of prescription opioids,” said Thomas Moriarty, chief policy officer and general counsel for CVS Health.
Monday’s announcement is the latest made in recent months by Raoul’s office regarding settlements related to the opioid crisis.
Illinois is also set to receive $760 million as part of the $26 billion national settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen.
It will also receive a share of the $3.1 billion, multi-state settlement with Walmart. Illinois is also part of agreements with opioid manufacturer Teva and former opioid maker Allergan that, once finalized, will bring over $6.5 billion to states and local governments across the country.