Pharmacy chains have more and more been focused for allegedly lax oversight states say spurred excessive charges of dependancy.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, which owns a string of retail pharmacies, has reached a $683m settlement with Florida to resolve claims it exacerbated an opioid epidemic within the state.
The settlement ends a trial that started final month, after Walgreens determined to not be part of a mixed $878m settlement within the state with 4 different healthcare firms.
So far, Florida has recovered greater than $3bn in opioid litigation in opposition to drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies, in accordance with Florida Lawyer Normal Ashley Moody.
It’s going to spend a lot of the cash on efforts to mitigate the opioid disaster within the state.
“I’m glad that now we have been in a position to finish this monumental litigation and transfer previous the courtroom,” Moody mentioned at a Thursday press convention.
The newest settlement contains $620m to be paid to Florida over 18 years, plus $63m for authorized charges.
Walgreens didn’t admit wrongdoing as a part of the settlement, which stems from allegations the corporate performed down the dangers of dependancy and overdoses, and had been lax in monitoring the place capsules ended up.
The case hinged on accusations that as Walgreens allotted greater than 4.3 billion opioid capsules in Florida from Might 2006 to June 2021, greater than half of the prescriptions contained a number of simply recognised pink flags for abuse, fraud and dependancy that the corporate ought to have seen and acted upon.
Previous to settling, Walgreens had argued it must be immune from being sued based mostly on a $3,000 settlement it reached with Florida in 2012.
Florida had known as Walgreens’ place “absurd”, in accordance with courtroom transcripts, saying the 2012 settlement addressed solely a single record-keeping violation.
CVS Well being Corp beforehand agreed to settle with Florida for $484m, whereas Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Abbvie Inc’s Allergan unit and Endo Worldwide Plc agreed to pay a respective $194.8m, $134.2m and $65m.
All denied wrongdoing.
The nationwide opioid disaster has led to greater than 500,000 overdose deaths within the final 20 years, in accordance with the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Greater than 3,300 lawsuits have been filed in opposition to these allegedly chargeable for the disaster.
Whereas many initially focused drugmakers and distributors, states have additionally increasingly targeted pharmacies.
In November of final 12 months, a jury in a federal trial in Ohio found Walmart, CVS Well being Corp, and Walgreens Boots Alliance responsible of spurring the disaster by failing to correctly monitor opioid prescriptions.
On Tuesday Washington state reached a $518m settlement with opioid distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Well being, ending a months-long trial in these firms’ alleged function within the opioid disaster.