Pharmacies should pay 0.6 million to Ohio counties in opioid case

Pharmacies should pay $650.6 million to Ohio counties in opioid case

A buyer views merchandise on the market at a Walgreens retailer within the Hollywood neighborhood

A buyer views merchandise on the market at a Walgreens retailer within the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Christopher Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Pharmacy operators CVS, Walmart and Walgreens should pay a mixed $650.6 million to 2 Ohio counties to handle the injury achieved by the opioid epidemic, a federal decide dominated on Wednesday.

The order by U.S. Decide Dan Polster in Cleveland comes after a jury final November concluded that the pharmacy chains helped create a public nuisance in Lake and Trumbull counties by over-supplying addictive ache tablets, lots of which discovered their means onto the black market. The pharmacies have mentioned they’d enchantment that verdict.

Polster held a separate non-jury trial earlier this yr to determine how a lot the businesses needed to pay.

“We’re disillusioned with this end result,” Walgreens spokesman Fraser Engleman mentioned in an announcement. “The information and the legislation didn’t help the jury verdict final fall, and they don’t help the courtroom’s determination now.”

CVS and Walmart didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Polster mentioned the sum have to be paid over 15 years, with the quantity for the primary two years, or $86.7 million, to be paid right into a fund instantly. The decide additionally ordered the businesses to implement new procedures to fight unlawful diversion of opioid medication.

The U.S. opioid epidemic has induced greater than 500,000 overdose deaths over 20 years, in accordance with authorities knowledge. Greater than 3,300 opioid lawsuits have been filed nationally towards drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains.

The litigation has resulted in a number of nationwide settlements, together with a $26 billion take care of Johnson & Johnson and the three main distributors, a $2.37 billion settlement with AbbVie Inc and a $4.25 billion settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Pharmacies have but to achieve a nationwide settlement.

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