|Attorney General O’Connor announces settlements with opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers |
Oklahoma Approaches $1 Billion in Opioid Settlement Funds Recovered
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General John O’Connor announced four new settlements in the State’s opioid litigation. With these new settlements, Oklahoma has now recovered more than $900 million in opioid settlements. Oklahoma now ranks near the top of all states in total funds recovered on a per capita basis from the companies alleged to bear partial responsibility for the State’s opioid crisis.
The announcement follows settlements agreed to by the State in December with Allergan Pharmaceuticals, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.
Oklahoma will recover $226.1 million from these new settlements, including up to $79.5 million from Walgreens, $73 million from CVS, $41 million from Walmart, and $32.6 million from Allergan, an opioid manufacturer.
“The opioid crisis has inflicted unspeakable pain on Oklahoma families and caused the deaths of thousands of Oklahomans,” said General O’Connor. “Between 2016 and 2020, more than 3,000 Oklahomans died from opioid overdoses. These recent settlements bring Oklahoma’s total recoveries from opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to almost $1 billion. As with prior opioid settlement funds, Oklahoma’s recoveries must be used to abate and treat opioid addictions and to save lives across our state.”
Nearly all the settlement funds must be used to remediate the opioid crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.
The payments are structured to ensure critical support in early years as well as sustained resources over time. Most of Walmart’s amount will be paid during 2023; CVS’s payments will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years. To achieve maximum recoveries, the local cities and counties must sign on to these settlements. Certain amounts of the funds will be distributed to them.
“I would like to thank the State’s legal team, which includes the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office and the State’s outside Counsel, Whitten Burrage and Nix Patterson, for their professionalism, hard work, and dedication over the past five years to secure these landmark settlements for Oklahomans.”
The State’s outside Counsel said in a joint statement, “We’ve dedicated the last five years of our lives—in and out of the courtroom—to helping Oklahoma on the path to recovery from the opioid crisis. It has been an honor to work closely with the Attorney General’s Office, numerous state agencies, legislative leadership, the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse, and the courageous families who have lost loved ones to this crisis. While our work in the courtroom has come to an end, we will continue to work in the community to offer help.”
General O’Connor added, “I commend the members of the Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board, the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse, and the Opioid Overdose Fatality Review Board for their incredible insight. Their work has allowed us to better understand addiction, the extent and nature of overdoses in Oklahoma, and how best to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.”