CVS Health reaches $484 million opioid settlement with Florida

Photo: Jeff Lagasse/Health Financing News

CVS Health has reached an agreement with the State of Florida to pay the state $484 million to resolve claims dating back more than a decade related to opioid drug prescriptions that were filled at CVS Florida pharmacies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the $484 million will be paid out over 18 years, according to a declaration. As a result, CVS Pharmacy will no longer be a defendant in the Florida opioid lawsuit slated for trial in April. The essay will examine the roles various companies may have played in fueling a nationwide opioid epidemic.

Florida also reached a $194.8 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, a $134.2 million settlement with Abbvie’s Allergan and a $65 million settlement with Endo International, according to Reuters.

Most of the money will go to opioid reduction efforts, and Teva will provide $84 million worth of its generic Narcan nasal spray, which can temporarily reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, CVS Health said.

“Due to the unique facts and circumstances of the claims in Florida, the value of the settlement should not be extrapolated to any other opioid-related litigation in which CVS Health is involved,” the company said. “CVS Health will continue to vigorously defend against further opioid-related lawsuits.”

WHAT IS THE IMPACT

CVS Health has pledged to continue a number of efforts to address opioid abuse, including investments in technology to help pharmacists in their work, as well as policies around the dispensing of controlled substances, although the organization refrained from providing further details on this. techniques and processes.

The company has also promoted educational programs, including a Pharmacists Teach program, which focuses on prescription drug abuse. To date, this program has reached about 600,000 teens and parents, CVS said.

The organization also highlighted the deployment of more than 4,000 drug disposal units to stores and local police departments across the country, which to date have collected 4 million pounds of unused drugs; and installing timed safes in nearly 6,800 pharmacies in 23 states and Washington, DC to help deter opioid theft.

Although CVS Health is now barred, the state of Florida is proceeding with a lawsuit against drugstore chain Walgreens, with jury selection set to begin April 5.

According to Reuters, Walgreens claimed its 2012 opioid-related settlement with Florida covered the state’s latest claims and said it would defend against “unwarranted attacks” on its pharmacists.

THE GREAT TREND

Florida announced settlement terms just days after Rhode Island entered into similar agreements with Allergan and Teva worth an estimated $107 million.

Meanwhile, Johnson and Johnson, along with three major drug distributors – AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson – have finalized a $26 billion settlement proposal resolving claims by states and local governments that they have helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

State, local and Native American tribal governments have filed more than 3,300 lawsuits accusing drug manufacturers of fueling opioid abuse, through means such as minimizing addiction risks.

According to the United States. Centers for the Control and Prevention of Disasters, more than 500,000 people died opioid overdoses over the past 20 years, including nearly 76,000 in year b ending April 2021.

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a harm reduction grant program to support community-based harm reduction services that curb and treat addiction. Grants made available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Harm Reduction Grant Program are intended to increase access to harm reduction services and support harm reduction service providers. misdeeds.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said funding for the grant program would come from the U.S. bailout to the tune of about $30 million.

The Biden administration revealed the four-pillar opioid mitigation strategy in October 2021. That same month, as part of a $1.5 billion investment through the Biden Health Resources and Services Administration HHS announced a number of loan repayment and scholarship programs for healthcare workers, with funds set aside for the opioid epidemic.

With dedicated funding for substance use disorder professionals, HRSA now supports more than 4,500 providers treating opioids and other SUD issues in hard-hit communities. The Substance Use Disorders Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program was launched in fiscal year 2021 to create loan repayment opportunities for several new disciplines that support HHS’s response to the opioid crisis, including clinical support staff and allied health professionals.

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