Walgreens to Pay $110M to End Philadelphia Opioid Litigation

The city of Philadelphia has reached a $110 million settlement of its 2021 lawsuit against Walgreens pharmacy for the company’s role in supplying and perpetuating the opioid addiction crisis in Philadelphia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens admits no liability but will pay the city $110 million in compensation over five years. The first $20 million payment from Walgreens will be paid to the city in September. Thereafter in 2025, 2026 and 2027, the city will receive $23.3 million and ,in 2028, $20 million

In 2023, the city announced its plans on how it will utilize and distribute $200 million in settlement funds from several opioid related lawsuits over the next 18 years. The plan calls for the funds to be used for substance use education, treatment, prevention, and community engagement efforts in the neighborhoods most affected by the opioid crisis.

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker said the $110 million will support the city’s Kensington Community Revitalization Plan and other efforts across Philadelphia to “reinforce public health and safety in neighborhoods that have been hit the hardest by the opioid crisis.”

The city began litigation efforts in 2017 to hold manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy dispensaries of prescription opioids accountable for fueling the opioid epidemic. The city alleged, among other things, that Walgreens violated the law by failing to monitor, report, and abstain from shipping allegedly suspicious orders of opioid pain medications, and dispensing opioid pain medications without confirming those prescriptions were issued for a legitimate medical purpose. The city asserted claims for damages, equitable abatement, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, and other relief.

Walgreens continues to deny each and all of the claims and allegations of wrongdoing made by the city.

The parties said they reached the settlement to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.

“We are hopeful that these funds can be used to accelerate the city’s efforts to reduce widespread addiction and prevent further loss of life due to opioid overdose,” said Renee Garcia, City Solicitor.