Indiana agrees opioid settlement with Walmart for $53 million | Indiana

(The Center Square) — Indiana has reached an interim multi-state settlement with Walmart over allegations the giant retailer contributed to the opioid crisis by not properly overseeing its dispensaries. The agreement secures $53 million in payments to the state, bringing Indiana’s total opioid-related payments to nearly $573 million.

“The opioid crisis has devastated far too many Hoosier families,” Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement announcing the Walmart agreement. “We continue to work aggressively to hold accountable those companies whose actions contributed to the opioid epidemic. In addition, we are committed to raising much-needed funds to help fight Indiana’s drug crisis.”

The Nov. 15 agreement would settle nearly all outstanding lawsuits filed against Walmart by local, state or tribal organizations over the opioid crisis and result in total payments of $3.1 billion by the retailer, with no admission of wrongdoing .

In addition to the cash payments, Walmart will agree to change its dispensing practices, including educating pharmacists, reducing the number of opioids dispensed, preventing opioid theft, increasing access to overdose-reversal medications, and educating patients about the dangers of opioid abuse.

Opioid prescriptions peaked in Indiana in 2012, when 112 opioid prescriptions were issued per 100 Hoosiers. In 2021, 2,755 Hoosiers died from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Indiana law states that funds received by the state to settle opioid claims must be distributed as follows:

  • · 15% to the state
  • · 15% in cities, districts and communities
  • · 35% for nationwide treatment, education and prevention programs
  • · 35% to cities, districts and municipalities for treatment, education and prevention programs

The amounts distributed to cities, counties and municipalities are determined using a formula that measures the impact of the opioid crisis on them.

In 2021, Indiana entered into a state settlement settlement for opioid claims with several companies, including major pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, and opioid maker Johnson & Johnson, resulting in $507 million in payments over 10 years will lead to the state.

Also in 2021, the state reached a multi-state settlement with consulting firm McKinsey & Company regarding its role in promoting sales of Oxycontin that will result in payments to Indiana of $12.6 million.