CVS, Walgreens and Walmart perpetuate opioid crisis, jury finds

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CVS, Walgreens and Walmart perpetuate opioid crisis, jury finds

In a closely watched trial case, a federal jury in Cleveland found Tuesday that the nation’s three largest pharmacy chains, CVS Health, Walmart and Walgreens, contributed significantly to the crisis of opioid overdoses and deaths in two Ohio counties for the first time. Gave. The pharmaceutical industry’s retail sector has been held accountable in a decades-long pandemic.

After a yet-unscheduled hearing, the trial judge will determine how much each company can pay to the counties. New federal data released last week shows overdose deaths from illicit opioids such as heroin and street fentanyl have reached record levels during the pandemic.

The verdict — the first from a jury in an opioid case — could encourage plaintiffs in thousands of lawsuits nationwide that are relying on the same legal strategy employed in the case, namely that drug companies contributed to “public nuisance” — a The term legal plaintiffs oppose covers the public health crisis created by opioids.

The same argument was rejected twice this month in cases against opioid makers by judges in California and Oklahoma, who ruled that the companies’ activities were precipitated by overdoses and deaths, and that public nuisance was a violation of the law. The application was extended beyond recognition. ,

But in this case, brought by Lake and Trumbull counties in northeastern Ohio, attorneys successfully used legal theory, arguing that over the years, pharmacies turned a blind eye to countless red flags about suspected opioid orders, both With patients at local counters and at corporate headquarters whose monitoring requirements were, according to the counties’ lead trial attorney, Mark Lanier, “too little, too late.”

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