The Walgreens pharmacy chain has reached a $683 million settlement with the state of Florida in a lawsuit accusing the company of improperly dispensing millions of painkillers that contributed to the opioid crisis, state officials said Thursday.
Walgreens was accused of dispensing more than 4.3 billion total opioid pills in Florida from May 2006 to June 2021.
State Attorney General Ashley Moody said the deal was struck after four weeks of government evidence was presented at trial. Walgreens was the 12th and final defendant to settle with Florida, which will bring in more than $3 billion for the state to tackle opioid addiction and overdoses.
The opioid epidemic has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades, including those from prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and generic oxycodone.
Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Illinois, said in a statement the company did not admit wrongdoing in the deal, during which $620 million will be paid to the state over 18 years and a one-time sum of $63 million for attorney fees. Walgreens operates more than 9,000 stores in all 50 states, according to the company website. About 820 of those locations are in Florida.