Walmart and other chains didn’t do enough to stop the flow of opioids: US judge

CLEVELAND.- A federal jury in USA concluded that the chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart They didn’t do enough to stop the flow of opioid pills to two Ohio counties.

The verdict could set the tone for many city halls and county governments across the country who want to hold pharmacies accountable for their role in opioid crisis.

Counties of Lake and Trumbull they blamed the three chains for failing to stop the deluge of pills that caused hundreds of overdose deaths and cost each of the two counties about $ 1 billion, their attorney said.

A federal judge will decide early next year how much retailers must pay in damages.

It is the first time that pharmaceutical companies have been brought to trial to defend themselves for their role in a drug crisis that killed half a million Americans in the past two decades.

Read also: US Department of Justice sues Walmart for its role in the opioid crisis

The counties were able to convince the jury that the chains played a significant role in the public health crisis because of the way they they distributed painkillers in their communities.

“The law requires pharmacies to be diligent in handling medications. This case should be a wake-up call, ”said Counties Attorney Mark Lanier.

“The jury sounded an alert that should be heard at all United States pharmaciesLanier added.

Read also: They develop a vaccine that fights drug addiction and that would prevent overdoses

Lawyers for the three chains said they had policies to reduce the delivery of pills in case their pharmacists had any concerns and to notify authorities about suspicious prescriptions from doctors. They added that it was the doctors who controlled how many pills to prescribe for legitimate medical needs.

Spokespersons for CVSHealth and Walgreen Co. said the companies do not agree with the verdict and will appeal.

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