Iowa wins $70.3 million in opioid funds from CVS, Walgreens

After reaching agreements in multi-state settlements with CVS and Walgreens in November, the state of Iowa announced they will receive $70.3 million from the two companies, pending a state review.

CVS will pay $5 billion nationwide, while Walgreens will pay $5.7 billion.

“The opioid crisis is the deadliest drug epidemic in American history,” Attorney General Tom Miller said in a statement. “My colleagues and I have worked on a bipartisan basis to hold accountable the companies that created and fueled this crisis. Securing more than $10 billion from CVS and Walgreens nationwide means our states can provide more resources for the treatment and prevention of Opioid Use Disorder to those most in need.”

According to a press release, the national amount of settlements based on investigations and litigation against the pharmaceutical industry has surpassed $50 billion. The total share for Iowa is expected to be approximately $320 million.

Payments from the CVS agreement will be spread over 10 years; Walgreens’ payments will be spread over 15 years.

Iowa will also receive $19.9 million from Walmart, in an agreement that requires Walmart to make improvements in how their pharmacies handle opiods. The majority of these funds will be paid in the agreement’s first year.

The state of Iowa intends to join both settlements and have until the end of 2022 to do so officially.  The agreements will then go to local governments around the country during the first quarter of 2023.

Almost all funds must go toward prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services. Payments could start as quickly as the second half of 2023.

More information on opiod settlements can be found on the attorney general’s website.