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Indiana to receive $219M in opioid settlements with CVS, Walgreens

FILE - This undated combination of file photos show the signs of CVS, Walmart and Walgreens. A federal judge in Cleveland awarded $650 million in in damages on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, to two Ohio counties that won a landmark lawsuit against national pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, claiming the way they distributed opioids to customers caused severe harm to communities. (AP Photo/File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana is set to receive more than $200 million through settlements with two pharmacy chains accused of contributing to the opioid epidemic.

The state has state finalized tentative agreements with CVS and Walgreens worth a total of $219 million, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Monday.

Indiana is expected to receive $105 million from CVS, $114 million from Walgreens, and $59.4 million from Walmart, which finalized a similar agreement with the state in November.

The settlements are the result of lawsuits filed by states and local governments alleging that major retailers helped fuel the nationwide opioid crisis by mishandling prescriptions of opioid painkillers.

Walgreens and CVS tentatively agreed in November to pay about $5 billion each to settle the lawsuits, while Walmart pledged to pay $3 billion.

“The opioid crisis has inflicted unspeakable pain on so many Hoosier families,” Rokita said in a statement. “Far too often, pharmacies have contributed to this devastation through their own reckless business practices, and we’re going to keep holding them accountable.”

All three retailers have agreed to a court-ordered injunction requiring them to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity linked to opioid prescriptions.

States are expected to use the money from opioid settlements to help pay for opioid abuse prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.

Most of Walmart’s amount will be paid during the first year. CVS will make payments over a 10-year span, while Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years.

Rokita’s office says payments could begin in the second half of 2023.