CVS Health reaches agreement in principle for global opioid settlement
CVS Health announced Wednesday that it has agreed in principle to a financial resolution designed to substantially resolve all opioid lawsuits and claims against the company by states, political subdivisions, such as counties and cities, and tribes in the United States.
If all conditions are satisfied and the non-monetary terms – which still need to be determined – are finalized, CVS Health has agreed it will pay approximately $5 billion ($4.9 billion to states and political subdivisions and approximately $130 million to tribes) over the next ten years beginning in 2023, depending on the number of governmental entities that agree to join the settlement.
The agreement would fully resolve claims dating back a decade or more and is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing. CVS Health will continue to defend against any litigation that the final agreement does not resolve.
“We are pleased to resolve these longstanding claims and putting them behind us is in the best interest of all parties, as well as our customers, colleagues and shareholders,” said Thomas Moriarty, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel, CVS Health. “We are committed to working with states, municipalities and tribes, and will continue our own important initiatives to help reduce the illegitimate use of prescription opioids.”
CVS Health has undertaken numerous initiatives to fight opioid abuse, which include:
- Significant investments in technology and procedures to support its pharmacists in exercising their professional obligations.
- Innovative, comprehensive, and industry-leading policies, procedures and controls relating to the dispensing of controlled substances.
- Effective educational programs on prescription drug misuse that have reached 1.8 million teens and parents.
- Rollout of more than 4,750 safe medication disposal units in stores and local police departments across the country, which to date have collected more than 4.5 million pounds of unused medication.
- Installation of time delay safes in more than 7,650 pharmacies across 45 states and Washington, DC to help deter opioid robberies.
- Nationwide access in CVS Pharmacy locations to life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication.
The timing of cash settlement payments, spread over multiple years, allows the company to continue to invest in its strategic priorities. More information about the settlement will be provided during the CVS Health third quarter 2022 earnings conference call on Wednesday, November 2 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of CVS Health. By their nature, all forward-looking statements, including the statements in this press release related to the scope and coverage of the ultimate settlement and the expected financial and other impacts that could result from the Settlement Framework, are not guarantees of future performance or results and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and/or quantify. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the heading “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on CVS Health’s forward-looking statements. CVS Health’s forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management’s then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance, and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. CVS Health does not assume any duty to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, uncertainties or otherwise.