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HomeNewsOhio jury holds CVS, Walgreens and Walmart accountable for opioid disaster :...

Ohio jury holds CVS, Walgreens and Walmart accountable for opioid disaster : NPR


Oxycodone capsules. A federal jury in Ohio on Tuesday discovered main pharmacy chains accountable for serving to to gasoline the opioid disaster.

Marie Hickman/Getty Photos


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Marie Hickman/Getty Photos


Oxycodone capsules. A federal jury in Ohio on Tuesday discovered main pharmacy chains accountable for serving to to gasoline the opioid disaster.

Marie Hickman/Getty Photos

A federal jury on Tuesday discovered three of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, accountable for serving to to gasoline the U.S. opioid disaster — a choice that is anticipated to have authorized repercussions as 1000’s of comparable lawsuits transfer ahead in courts throughout the nation.

Jurors concluded that the pharmacies contributed to a so-called public nuisance in Lake and Trumbull counties in Ohio by promoting and allotting large portions of prescription ache capsules.

A few of these medicines initially bought legally wound up being offered on the black market.

Tuesday’s verdict is predicted to resonate nationally, because the three chains face 1000’s of comparable lawsuits filed by U.S. communities grappling with the opioid disaster.

A separate authorized continuing will now happen to find out how a lot the businesses must pay to assist treatment the disaster, with damages prone to run into the billions of {dollars}.

In an announcement, attorneys for the Ohio counties that filed this federal lawsuit described the jury’s resolution as a “milestone victory” within the effort to carry firms accountable for an habit disaster that has killed lots of of 1000’s of individuals.

“For many years, pharmacy chains have watched because the capsules flowing out of their doorways trigger hurt and did not take motion as required by federal legislation,” the attorneys mentioned.

Executives for the pharmacy chains have lengthy maintained they did nothing improper and disbursed capsules solely after prescriptions had been written by licensed well being care suppliers.

In an announcement despatched to NPR, a Walmart spokesman blasted the decision and criticized the way in which the trial was dealt with by Decide Dan Polster, who has managed a lot of the federal opioid litigation now underway within the U.S.

“We are going to enchantment this flawed verdict, which is a mirrored image of a trial that was engineered to favor the plaintiffs’ attorneys and was riddled with outstanding authorized and factual errors,” mentioned Walmart’s assertion.

A spokesperson for CVS additionally promised an enchantment in an announcement despatched to NPR.

“We strongly disagree with the choice,” the assertion mentioned. “Pharmacists fill authorized prescriptions written by DEA-licensed docs who prescribe authorized, FDA-approved substances to deal with precise sufferers in want.”

In a separate assertion to NPR from Walgreens, a spokesperson described the decision as disappointing. “The information and the legislation don’t assist the decision. We consider the trial courtroom dedicated important authorized errors in permitting the case to go earlier than a jury,” it mentioned.

This federal verdict comes at a time when efforts in state courts to carry firms accountable for the opioid disaster have hit main authorized roadblocks.

This month, Oklahoma’s Supreme Courtroom overturned a judgment in opposition to drugmaker Johnson & Johnson value roughly $460 million that was based mostly on the identical “public nuisance” authorized argument.

A state choose in California additionally declined to carry drug firms accountable for any position in spurring the opioid disaster in communities in that state.

Opioid lawsuits proceed to maneuver ahead in different venues across the U.S., together with in New York and Washington state.

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