Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to pay New Mexico $500 million to settle a 2017 lawsuit that claimed the pharmacy chain helped fuel opioid addiction in the state by failing to stop illegal pill sales, according to numerous media reports. In May, Walgreens reached a $230 million settlement with San Francisco.
The New Mexico settlement, the largest obtained by the state against a single company over opioids, came after a non-jury trial held in 2022. The judge overseeing that trial had not yet ruled on the state’s claims, according to Reuters. The state has now settled all its major opioid-related lawsuits, recovering more than $1 billion, including this most recent settlement.
The New Mexico lawsuit against Walgreens was one of more than 3,300 filed by state and local governments accusing pharmacies, distributors and drug makers of downplaying the risks of addictive pain medications. In November 2022, Walgreens and CVS Health agreed to pay approximately $10 billion to settle nationwide opioid suits, which New Mexico had not participated in.
Walgreens had no comment on the New Mexico settlement.