For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372
SANTA FE – Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that his office has resolved the opioid litigation against grocery and retail pharmacy giant Kroger Co., in a deal that will deliver nearly $60 million to the State and to local communities to fund opioid abatement efforts within the next 90 days.
“We achieved a great result for New Mexico by taking Kroger to court, and this settlement sends a clear message that pharmacies operating in New Mexico must take an active role in protecting the communities they serve,” said Attorney General Balderas.
Kroger was one of three pharmacy defendants that went to trial against the State in September of this year, though the parties began working on the terms of a settlement while trial was underway. Like other opioid settlements negotiated by Balderas’s Consumer & Environmental Protection Division, the settlement divides funds between State and local governments and requires all funds be spent on efforts to address the opioid crisis statewide. The NM Office of the Attorney General will coordinate a statewide effort to get local governments signed up for the deal over the next three months.
AG Balderas plans to announce other settlements with pharmacy operators Albertsons, CVS, and Walmart in the coming weeks as details are finalized. The State wrapped up its two-month-long trial against pharmacy giant Walgreens in October, and a decision is expected from the court in that case in the coming weeks.