A federal judge in Ohio (Northern US) has ordered large drugstore chains Walmart, CVS and Walgreens to pay two counties of $650.6 million in compensation for their role in the crisis. Opiates have been described as a painkiller that has caused the country’s largest public health crisis between AIDS and the coronavirus pandemic. Judge Dan Polster held that he had established that the actions of these pharmacies helped to cause “public harm” by ignoring the abusive consumption of these products by their clients in Lake and Trumbull counties.
The significant amount would allow education and prevention programs to be funded and reimbursed to relevant agencies and organizations for expenditures incurred in managing the crisis, even though it is only a third of what counties need to cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic. As explained by Polster and the law firm representing the counties. The rest of the civil liability should lie with the manufacturers and distributors. Walmart, the country’s largest retail chain, announced its intention to appeal the ruling, saying the process was “full of legal and factual errors.” Also intend to use Walgreens. In any case, the pharmacies assure that their specialists have done nothing but follow the protocol initiated by the doctors prescribing the legal medicines approved by the health authorities. All three companies are publicly traded.
Last summer, the aforementioned chains, along with Rite Aid, were ordered to pay $26 million to two counties in New York State. In the Ohio case, Rite Aid and another accused chain reached financial settlements with the counties to avoid going to trial. A year ago, giant Johnson & Johnson and three major distributors signed a $26 billion agreement with several countries to settle thousands of lawsuits. By contrast, in other states, such as Oklahoma and California, consideration of general harm as a result of opioid use has not benefited plaintiffs.
The three companies were found guilty last November, alleging that they released these opioids on a large scale in the two counties. Over the course of 20 years, at least 500,000 to 850,000 Americans have died, according to sources, from an overdose of these highly addictive drugs whose use in many cases has led to narcotics or fentanyl, another synthetic opioid much stronger than morphine and with Increased risk of infection. Accreditation. In any case, the dependency requires the patient to significantly increase the dose or resort to stronger treatments, in a spiral of endless destruction.
The rosary of deaths that the consumption of these legal painkillers left in its wake prompted countless complaints from individuals and groups such as Native American tribes, especially those affected, counties, and states. In sight of each of them was most responsible for the crisis, Purdue Pharma, which through its drug Oxycontin (a brand in the United States, based on the active principle of oxycodone) popularized and prescribed the use of this type of painkiller. Treats chronic pain. Purdue Pharma bragged as it expanded this analgesic’s range of action from the primary indication, the treatment of pain in cancer patients, to any type of chronic pain patient, a market niche in which Oxycontin made its fortune. A federal judge last December annulled the $4.5 billion settlement that was supposed to settle a years-long dispute against the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma.
Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for short; the federal health agency) nor city councils like those in New York consider the crisis over. In 2021, overdose deaths, which have increased sixfold since 1999, exceeded 100,000, the highest number in history, according to CDC data. Periodic public campaigns warn of the dangers of consumption and in New York, for example, it is not uncommon to receive periodic mailing information from the Department of Health on how to handle an overdose to prevent it from being fatal or the resources available on a public network to unhook.