The bipartisan accord would settle hundreds of claims filed against merchants for their participation in the addiction pandemic.
However, a substantial number of state, municipal, and tribal governments must sign.
CVS and Walgreens, two of the nation's largest retail pharmacy chains, announced on Wednesday
they have tentatively agreed to pay about $5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from their role in the opioid crisis
a development that could herald the start of Opioid lawsuits by the end of the year.
Since 2013, an increasing number of state, municipal, and tribal governments have attempted to compensate pharmaceutical firms to decrease the ongoing costs of addiction
mortality, and criminality in an epidemic that began with prescription opioids
While the majority of large opioid makers and distributors have agreed to pay billions of dollars in national settlements in recent years,
retail chains have so far refused to negotiate a broader settlement arrangement.
The proposed deal was announced in legal documents by CVS and Walgreens. They stated that finalization is contingent on an overwhelming majority of plaintiffs signing.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who is a member of the executive committee heading the discussions, verified the company's announcements.
"While much work remains," she added, "a wide coalition of states is making progress in our conversations with CVS and Walgreens
with the participation of attorneys representing the subdivisions, and we are confident that we will be able to achieve a final agreement on all issues."
The move by Walgreens does not end a trial slated to begin Monday in federal court in San Francisco to decide how much the corporation must pay the city and county
While other lawsuits against various firms continue, the news of the CVS and Walgreens settlement will focus attention on how the money will be shared and used.
Walgreens stated that it will pay governments $4.79 billion and tribes $154.5 million over a 15-year period.