Drug News

Opioid Crisis: CVS, Walmart & Walgreens Culpable Jury Rules

According to a federal jury ruling of Nov. 23 which was reported by The New York Times, CVS Health, Walgreens and Walmart substantially contributed to the opioid crisis in two Ohio counties.

The verdict marks the first time pharmacy retail chains have been held accountable for the opioid epidemic, according to the Times. The ruling is also the first to come from a jury in an opioid case.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Ohio’s Lake and Trumbull counties, alleged that the pharmacies distributed large amounts of opioids and ignored warning signs about suspicious opioid orders. A judge will determine how much the retail chains will pay in damages at a future hearing.

The verdict comes after judges in California and Oklahoma sided with opioid manufacturers in similar cases this month. The Ohio ruling offers an encouraging sign for thousands of other city and county governments that have filed similar lawsuits nationwide, the Times said.

CVS and Walgreens already shared plans to appeal the verdict. Walmart is expected to do the same, according to the Times.

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