Major pharmacy companies agree to settle in nationwide opioid cases

CVS store sign
(Image credit: Gary Hershorn/Getty Image)

CVS and Walgreens, two of the largest pharmacy chains in the country, have agreed to pay $5 billion each to settle lawsuits throughout the country over allegations of mishandling opioid prescriptions. The companies announced the settlement plan through government filings but need the approval of the myriad of plaintiffs before the deal can go into effect, The New York Times reports.

These settlements can potentially put an end to the decades of lawsuits regarding the role of the drug industry in the opioid epidemic, NPR reports. Opioid overdose was the cause of 80,000 deaths in 2021 alone and approximately 9.5 million Americans reported misusing opioids in 2020, according to CNN. Opioids are painkillers that can be illegal, like heroin, or prescribed by doctors, including morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

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