Briefline

Colorado to receive more than $40 million in settlement with Walmart over opioid crisis

By: - November 15, 2022 3:40 pm
MOU signing

Attorney General Phil Weiser signs a memorandum of understanding that dictates a framework for distributing opioid settlement funds, during a news conference at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver on Aug. 26, 2021. Weiser is flanked by local officials including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, second from left. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado will receive more than $40 million from a $3.1 billion national settlement with Walmart for its role in the opioid crisis. 

A news release from Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office said the settlement will require “significant improvements” in Walmart pharmacies’ handling of opioids, as a lack of proper oversight worsened the opioid crisis.

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Weiser was part of a group of state attorneys general as well as attorneys from local governments that agreed to the settlement, which will now go to other states for approval. 

“We are continuing to hold accountable the companies that created and fueled the opioid crisis, which has devastated communities and harmed Coloradans throughout the state,” Weiser said in a statement. “As a result of our efforts, Walmart is committing to provide meaningful resources that will help people suffering from opioid addiction get the treatment and recovery services they need, and to change the way it operates so that this never happens again. This agreement with Walmart adds to the important progress we’ve already achieved through our settlements with the opioid manufacturers and distributors, and there is more work to do.”

The money states and local entities will get from the settlement is intended to provide treatment and recovery services to those struggling with opioids — in Colorado, distribution will be based on the opioid framework the state agreed to in August 2021.

The settlement needs support from 43 states involved before the end of the year, and those in negotiations are confident they will find that support. This will then allow local governments to get involved at the start of 2023. 

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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