NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee has reached a settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores, state legal officials said. 

According to Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office, the settlement will provide more than $3 billion nationally and will require significant improvements in how Walmart’s pharmacies handle opioids. State attorneys general on the executive committee, attorneys representing local governments and Walmart have all agreed to the settlement, and it is in the process of being sent to other states for review and approval. 

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Under the terms of the settlement, Tennessee and its local governments could receive more than $70 million if all incentives are met. 

Attorney General Skrmetti issued the following statement on the settlement: 

“Tennessee and its people continue to suffer from the ravages of the opioid epidemic, but this settlement will provide further resources toward recovery. The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office continues to serve as a leader in the national effort to hold opioid distributors accountable. As part of this effort, Walmart has committed to pay over $3 billion nationwide and to ensure safeguards that will help protect its customers from opioid misuse. I expect this settlement will result in significant additional funding for Tennessee’s Opioid Abatement Trust Fund and will create new opportunities to help our communities fight back against opioid abuse. I am proud of the work of our Consumer Protection Division in securing this settlement. This deal with Walmart adds to the progress we have already achieved through our settlements with the opioid manufacturers and distributors—and we’re not done yet.”

The settlement includes more than $3 billion to be divided by participating states and local governments, which must be used to abate the opioid crisis through efforts such as providing treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder; as well as broad, court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

With additional funds for a separate agreement with tribes, Walmart has committed $3.1 billion to settle governmental claims and provide resources for abatement, the Attorney General’s Office said in a release. 

The participating attorneys general believe the settlement will be supported by the required 43 states by the end of the year, allowing local governments to join the deal during the first quarter of 2023. Further details about how the money will be distributed are forthcoming, the AG’s office said. 

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Last month, states confirmed that promising negotiations were also underway with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. 

Skrmetti joined the attorneys general of North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas as the lead negotiators of the deal.