LAS VEGAS (AP) — The state of Nevada has reached a $285 million settlement with Walgreens regarding the pharmacy chain’s role in the opioid epidemic, the state’s top lawyer announced Wednesday.
The last in a series of multiyear settlements with pharmaceutical companies, retailers and others, it pushes Nevada’s total anticipated payments stemming from opioid claims to $1.1 billion, state Attorney General Aaron Ford’s office said in a news release. Nevada is among numerous states that have reached settlements now totaling more than $50 billion nationwide.
“When I first took office as attorney general, I made it clear that seeking justice for those harmed by the opioid epidemic was one of my top priorities,” Ford said.
Walgreens had no comment on the settlement, a company spokesman said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Walgreens is the final defendant named in a lawsuit the state filed in 2019, Ford’s office said.
The $285 million settlement will be paid over 15 years and will be split between the state and the signatories of the One Nevada Agreement, a coalition of Nevada county and city governments, Ford said.
The state will retain about $98.1 million, which will be placed in a fund that was created to help finance opioid recovery programs through the state Department of Health and Human Services. The coalition will receive about $116.2 million.
The state reached a $193 million agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals in June and a $152 million deal with CVS in May.
Much of the more than $50 billion obtained through settlements nationwide is to be used to deal with an overdose crisis linked to more than 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
Last year, CVS agreed to pay state and local governments nearly $5 billion to settle lawsuits over the toll of opioids. But Nevada did not join in that litigation in order to pursue the single-state settlement, Ford spokesperson John Sadler said.
Nevada joined another multistate settlement with three of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers in April 2022 totaling $232 million over nearly two decades.