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Jury holds pharmacies responsible for role in opioid crisis

Opioid Crisis Lawsuits
Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 23, 2021

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal jury says CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies didn’t do enough to stop the flow of opioid pills into Lake and Trumbull counties.

The verdict Tuesday could set the tone for U.S. city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis. Spokespeople for CVS and Walgreens say the companies will appeal the verdict.

This is the first time pharmacy companies have completed a trial to defend themselves in a drug crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades.

According to the Lake County Board of Commissioners, an estimated 61 million opioid pills were dispensed in that county alone between 2012 and 2016.

CVS, Walgreeens and Walmart weren't the only pharmacies that Lake and Trumbull counties were in battling in court.

Last month, Lake and Trumbull counties settled with Giant Eagle. That agreement was announced in a joint statement by Giant Eagle and the plaintiffs committee for the nearly 3,000 government agencies and tribal entities nationwide that have filed opioid-related lawsuits supervised by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster. No settlement terms were announced.

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