a landmark ruling by a federal judge in Ohio that orders U.S. pharmacy chains Walmart, CVS and Walgreens to pay a combined $650 million in damages related to the opioid epidemic. This is the first federal ruling against the pharmacy chains for their roles in the opioid crisis. Other cases have focused on opioid makers and wholesalers that distribute the addictive painkillers. The ruling follows a federal jury’s verdict in November that found the pharmacy chains’ sale of these drugs caused severe harm to communities and violated Ohio’s public nuisance laws. In the lawsuit, Lake County and Trumbull County allege the pharmacies, quote, “abused their position of special trust and responsibility,” unquote, as dispensers of the drugs and, quote, “fostered a black market for prescription opioids.”
I think it’s extraordinary. And I think it’s high time that all the players in this terrible chain of manufacture, prescribing, dispensing, are held responsible for their actions. I mean, I hear what these pharmacy chains are saying, that they bear no responsibility, but they were happy to rake in all of the cash when their outlets were kind of recklessly dispensing these drugs — or at least that’s what the decision of the jury was. And so now it’s time to pay the piper and to use some of this money to repair some of the damage.
— source democracynow.org | Aug 22, 2022