Opioid Settlement: Walmart Agrees To $3.1B Framework

    Photo: Reuters [via The Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • Arkansas-headquartered retail giant Walmart Inc. announced on Tuesday a plan to pay $3.1B to settle lawsuits filed by state and local governments over the opioid epidemic in the US.

    • This comes as seventeen states, along with multiple cities and Native American tribes, have accused Walmart of recklessly distributing painkillers despite concerns, creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Pharmacy chains have finally agreed to pay for their guilt in this public health disaster that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. While they've long alleged that their pharmacists were only filling doctor-ordered prescriptions, it's evident that these companies were strictly focused on profiting and showed no social conscience in face of the tragic opioid epidemic.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While not responsible for this crisis, Walmart has taken decisive steps to support affected communities across the US much faster than any other nationwide settlement to date. In addition, it has empowered pharmacists and engaged in educating patients about opioid abuse while also advocating for state and national policies to prevent its abuse and misuse.

    Establishment split



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