DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has entered into an agreement with the State of Florida to resolve all claims related to the distribution and dispensing of prescription opioid medications across its pharmacies in the state, the company said Thursday.
The settlement amount of $683 million includes $620 million to be paid out to the State of Florida over 18 years, as well as a one-time payment of $63 million for attorneys’ fees.
The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing or liability by Walgreens.
“As the largest pharmacy chain in the state, we remain focused on and committed to being part of the solution, and believe this resolution is in the best interest of all parties involved and the communities we serve across Florida,” said Danielle Gray, executive vice president and global chief legal officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Our pharmacists are dedicated health care professionals who live and work in the communities they serve, and play a critical role in providing education and resources to help combat opioid misuse and abuse.”
As one of Florida’s leading health care providers, Walgreens has taken a number of actions to prevent and respond to the opioid crisis, while continuing to serve patients, including:
- Providing patient education on safe opioid use
- Making life-saving Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication, available in all Walgreens pharmacies nationwide
- Providing safe and convenient medication disposal kiosks available at 1,400 Walgreens stores, along with other safe disposal options at all other Walgreens locations
- Deploying technology to help pharmacists ensure they are dispensing prescriptions written for a legitimate medical purpose
- Stopping self-distribution of opioids and all pharmaceuticals to Walgreens stores in 2014
The settlement funds will be used by the State of Florida to support its efforts to combat and treat opioid addiction. The settlement is a result of unique facts and circumstances concerning the state of Florida. It should not be used to forecast or predict the value of any other litigation claims or future settlements, and is unrelated to any other opioid-related litigation in which Walgreens is involved and which the company will continue to defend vigorously.