Compensation will be received over five years and fund ongoing efforts to remediate the City’s opioid addiction crisis  

PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement in its 2021 lawsuit against Walgreens for the company’s role in supplying and perpetuating the opioid addiction crisis in Philadelphia. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the City will receive $110 million in compensation over five years which the City anticipates will be used to fund efforts to remediate the harms caused by the opioid crisis in Philadelphia’s most impacted neighborhoods, including substance use education, treatment, prevention, and community engagement efforts. The first payment from the settlement will be received by the City in September.

The City began litigation efforts in 2017 to hold manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy dispensaries of prescription opioids accountable for fueling the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Settlement Fund spending plan was announced in 2023, with plans to utilize and distribute settlement funds from several related lawsuits.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Mayor Cherelle L. Parker’s 100th day in office. The Administration has vowed to prioritize the comprehensive long-term care, treatment and housing of individuals suffering from addiction, mental health challenges and homelessness in Kensington and across Philadelphia and anticipates that the funding received as a result of this settlement announced today will significantly improve the City’s capacity to implement its opioid response strategy.

“I am proud of the successful resolution of this lawsuit under the leadership of City Solicitor Renee Garcia and the Law Department. Through this settlement, the City of Philadelphia has successfully held Walgreens accountable for oversupplying powerful drugs to people in our communities — with little consideration for the risk of addiction or harm posed by opioids,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “The $110 million in funds from this settlement will support our 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 settlement announced today is a testament to the City’s commitment to fighting on behalf of residents to hold those perpetuating harm in our communities accountable. Through its predatory business practices, Walgreens has played a significant role in the creation and continuation of the opioid epidemic that has claimed the lives of too many Philadelphians and caused immense harm to our communities,” said Renee Garcia, City Solicitor. “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.”

“The opioid epidemic continues to be a scourge on our nation as well as right here in our Philadelphia communities,” said Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel. “This settlement is a step in the right direction to hold those accountable who enabled this crisis and to provide much-needed resources for treatment, prevention, and harm reduction efforts. The Philadelphia Police Department remains committed to working alongside our partners to dismantle the illegal drug trade, get help to those in need, and make our communities safer.”

“The opioid crisis has affected every city in the country and has hit Philadelphia particularly hard,” said Interim Health Commissioner Dr. Frank Franklin. “The Health Department has been working with City and community partners for years to help save lives and get people suffering from addiction into treatment. This settlement will help give us the tools to continue to promote and protect the health and well-being of Philadelphians and make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest city in America.”

Click here to view the full settlement agreement