In a historic lawsuit, America’s three largest pharmacies were found to be responsible for aiding to create a painkiller problem in two Ohio counties.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS, and Walmart’s activities, according to a federal court, contributed to the excess of addictive opioid medications.
A future hearing will determine the compensation scale to be awarded to the two Ohio counties.
CVS announced that it will file an appeal against the ruling.
The other merchants, who had all challenged the cases, did not respond right away.
Millions of Americans have been addicted to legal opiate-based medications like Fentanyl and OxyContin over the previous two decades due to over-prescription and misuse.
Between 1999 and 2019, opioid overdoses were responsible for over 500,000 fatalities.
The painkiller pandemic, according to local and state governments, imposed a significant drain on their resources as they attempted to combat it through social programs and the penal system.
Around 3,300 other lawsuits are being filed in an attempt to collect part of the costs from companies that benefitted from the opioid sales.
Big pharmaceutical corporations and medical experts, in addition to drugstore chains, have been accused of turning a blind eye to the problem.
Lawyers for the two Ohio counties of Lake and Trumbull claimed the costs might be as high as $1 billion per county to pay social and legal expenditures tied to the opioid crisis.
In a joint statement, they added, “Today’s judgment against Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS symbolizes the long-overdue reckoning for their role in creating a public nuisance.”
They claimed that pharmacists caused a public health hazard by neglecting to verify the validity of opioid prescriptions, enabling large volumes of addictive painkillers to flood their towns.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS, and Walmart all refuted the charges, claiming that they had taken precautions to ensure that medications were used for their designated legal purposes.
In a statement, CVS stated that it strongly disagreed with the decision and that it would appeal.
“Many factors have contributed to the opioid misuse epidemic, as plaintiffs’ own experts testified, and fixing this problem will need engagement from all partners in our healthcare system and all members of our community,” CVS stated.
In other cases throughout the country, the “public nuisance” argument is being used to challenge the firms that manufacture and distribute opioid medicines.
However, judges in Oklahoma and California dismissed it as a legal basis in proceedings against drug companies earlier this month.