Walgreens Settles Suit In Philadelphia Opioid Lawsuit

Walgreens has agreed to pay the city of Philadelphia $110 million over claims that the pharmaceutical retailer was negligent in its distribution of opioid pain medications.

“Through this settlement, the City of Philadelphia has successfully held Walgreens accountable for oversupplying powerful drugs to people in our communities—with little consideration for the risk of addiction or harm posed by opioids,” said Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “The $110 million in funds from this settlement will support our Kensington Community Revitalization Plan and other efforts across Philadelphia to reinforce public health and safety in neighborhoods that have been hit the hardest by the opioid crisis.”

Walgreens denied any wrongdoing, and both parties have acknowledged they settled to avoid the expense, delay, and uncertainty of litigation.

“We remain committed to being a part of the solution, and this settlement will allow us to keep our focus on the health and wellbeing of our customers and patients in the community, while making positive contributions to address the opioid epidemic,” said Fraser Engerman, a Walgreens spokesperson.

The settlement is to be paid in five annual installments beginning in September 2024 and continuing through 2028.

Philly Joins A Growing List Of Cities, States With Settlements

The Philadelphia case settled by Walgreens is not the first settlement for the pharmaceutical giant. In 2022, Walgreens agreed to settle all pending opioid lawsuits against it (roughly $5.7 billion in claims) over a 15-year period. Similarly, CVS agreed to pay out claims over a 10 year-span amidst similar claims regarding the opioid epidemic.

In 2023, Walgreens settled multiple lawsuits with various cities and state governments. Most notably, the company settled with the city of San Francisco for $230 million over 14 years, as well as settlements with Nevada ($285 million), Texas ($340 million), New Mexico ($500 million), and Michigan ($338 million).

Along with the settlements, both Walgreens and CVS have agreed to make changes to the way they handle opioid medications and implement ways to monitor suspicious activity regarding prescriptions.

Putting Settlement Funds to Good Use

As previously mentioned, the city of Philadelphia plans to use part of the $110 million to help fund its Kensington Community Revitalization Plan. This revitalization program is a collaborative and community-led planning process. According to city officials, the Kensington Community Revitalization Plan “build[s] on existing community organizing and plans of the past, the Kensington Planning Process is an ongoing, flexible, and participatory process that acknowledges the neighborhood’s strengths and honors the leadership of its community members.”

With funds from the Walgreens settlement, the City of Philadelphia announced that $7.5 million from national opioid settlement funds would be invested in Kensington schools, parks, home repairs, foreclosure prevention, and rental assistance.

“This settlement will help give us the tools to continue to promote and protect the health and well-being of Philadelphians and make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest city in America,” Interim Health Commissioner Dr. Frank Franklin said.

Finding Help In Your Area

While residents of Philadelphia are seeing a much-needed boost in funds toward vital community programs like substance abuse treatment, millions of other Americans around the country are still in need of assistance.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder and are in need of help, finding treatment can feel like a difficult task. Fortunately, you don’t have to take the first step alone. To get assistance finding treatment programs that fit your needs, contact a treatment provider to learn more about your options.

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Zachary Pottle

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  • Zachary Pottle earned his B.A. in Professional Writing from Saint Leo University and has over three years of journalistic experience. His passion for writing has led him to a career in journalism, where he specializes in writing about stories in the pain management and healthcare industry. His main goal as a writer is to bring readers accurate, trustworthy content that serve as useful resources for bettering their lives or the lives of those around them.

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