News Release

Jury Rules CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are Responsible for Flooding Ohio with Opioids

The Washington Post reports: “Three major retailers helped flood two Ohio counties with addictive opioids, a federal jury said Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind verdict that could serve as a possible indicator for thousands of cities and counties that blame the companies for part of the nation’s opioid crisis. Lake and Trumbull counties, which argued that the pharmacies did not stop mass quantities of opioid drugs from reaching the black market, said the decision was ‘a milestone victory’ after a months-long federal trial against CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, which have denied wrongdoing. The three companies say they plan to appeal the verdict.”

GERALD POSNER, gerald@posner.com, @geraldposner
Posner is author of Pharma: Greed Lies and the Poisoning of America. He said today: “This is a milestone legal ruling that will have a great impact on the thousands of cases pending against the pharmacy chains for their role in contributing to the opioid epidemic. The counties argued that the chains had created a public nuisance by failing to stop false scripts from being filled and refusing to take any substantive steps to stop the flood of pills.”

In an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter, he said: “The pharmacists who were diverting some of the supply to the side — not all of them, but some were — they are responsible. Responsibility is far and wide. But Purdue is taking the brunt of the hit because their drug is the most successful. But I believe there are a lot of entities who are breathing a sigh of relief that all of the focus is on Purdue because if it wasn’t, it would be widespread and on them as well.”