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AG: Nevada to receive $152 million from opioid-related settlement with CVS

Sean Golonka
Sean Golonka
CourtsState Government
Attorney General Aaron Ford and Chief Deputy Attorney General Mark Kreuger during a press conference about an opioid settlement outside the Attorney General’s office in Carson City on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent).

As part of the latest settlement with major drug companies held liable for the ongoing opioid crisis, Attorney General Aaron Ford announced Tuesday that Nevada will receive $151.9 million from CVS.

That brings Nevada’s total recovery from lawsuits against opioid companies and their subsidiaries to “more than a half a billion dollars,” he said during a press conference in Carson City.

Ford said the funds from the retail and pharmacy chain would be used for the “abatement of the opioid crisis” through funding for treatment programs and services. From those funds, $61.6 million will be retained by the state, while the remaining dollars will be distributed to local governments under a statewide agreement for the distribution of opioid litigation recoveries.

Over the past two years, Ford has announced settlement victories against major opioid companies totaling more than $391 million, with Tuesday’s announcement bringing that total to $543 million. That amount is headlined by more than $231 million being distributed over 18 years from a multistate settlement with the three largest opioid distributors: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. It also includes:

  • $53.5 million from a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its U.S.-based Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
  • $45 million from a settlement with consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which provided services for opioid manufacturers 
  • $32.2 million from a multistate settlement with Walmart
  • $26.5 million from a multistate agreement with opioid manufacturer Allergan and its subsidiaries
  • $3.3 million from an individual settlement with American Drug Stores and the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy plan

Ford said the state is set to go trial in August against one final defendant — Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.

He also noted the settlement against CVS requires the company to develop a controlled substance dispensing oversight program meant to prevent the misuse of opioids.

Lawsuits led by attorneys general across the country have come as a response to the opioid epidemic, which has led to a skyrocketing number of overdose deaths. Ford said there were 497 overdose deaths in Nevada in 2022 containing a synthetic opioid, such as fentanyl, according to data from the state’s Overdose Data to Action Program. 

As part of these efforts, Ford has often pursued litigation separate from some of the multistate lawsuits involving dozens of attorneys general. That includes in the case of the state’s settlement with McKinsey, which he said resulted in a larger settlement for the state than the $7 million Nevada would have received through the multistate agreement.

The millions of dollars won by the state must be distributed in accordance with the One Nevada Agreement on Allocation of Opioid Recoveries, an agreement between the state and local governments dictating how much of the funds go to each entity. Any allocations of the state’s share of the funds must be used to support evidence-based programs through the Fund for a Resilient Nevada, which was established through SB390 from the 2021 legislative session.

The bill stipulated that before allocating funds, the Department of Health and Human Services must first create a state needs assessment to identify priorities for use of the opioid litigation funds. That assessment and plan was completed in December and includes seven state goals to address the opioid crisis, including efforts to reduce the harms of opioid use, prevent the misuse of opioids and provide behavioral health treatment.

Lawmakers have already approved awards of some funds out of this account, including $4.1 million approved by the Interim Finance Committee in January that included a $700,000 grant to UNR to support the expansion of its mobile Medication-Assisted Treatment teams. 


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