Walgreens prescriptions added to San Francisco’s opioid epidemic: Judge

(Reuters) — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. contributed to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco by means of its sale of prescription medicine in the metropolis, a federal choose concluded on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco mentioned that Walgreens failed to correctly examine suspicious opioid orders for practically 15 decades. The amount the pharmacy chain have to pay will be determined in a afterwards demo.

Walgreens’ pharmacists stuffed hundreds of 1000’s of suspicious opioid prescriptions from 2006 to 2020 with pharmacists not supplied time, staffing or assets to appropriately look into purple flags, Choose Breyer wrote.

San Francisco in 2018 sued Walgreens, as nicely as various drug brands and distributors, in excess of the opioid epidemic in the city, declaring they designed a “public nuisance” by flooding the city with prescription opioids and failing to avert the prescription drugs from staying diverted for unlawful use.

A trial started in April, and all of the defendants other than Walgreens arrived at settlements with the town prior to the courtroom ruled.

Choose Breyer reported San Francisco had revealed that Walgreens’ lax oversight led to illegal drug use that substantially contributed to the opioid epidemic in the metropolis.

Walgreens claimed that it was unhappy with the ruling and intends to appeal.

“We never produced or promoted opioids, nor did we distribute them to the ‘pill mills’ and web pharmacies that fueled this crisis,” Walgreens spokesman Fraser Engerman mentioned.

The opioid epidemic has brought on more than 500,000 opioid overdose deaths more than two many years, according to the U.S. Facilities for Sickness Control and Avoidance. Additional than 3,300 opioid lawsuits have been filed nationally from drug suppliers, distributors and pharmacies, culminating with many of the other organizations – even though not the pharmacies – agreeing to proposed world-wide settlements.

The opioid crisis has hit San Francisco challenging, with opioid-associated crisis place visits tripling from 886 in 2015 to 2,998 in 2020, in accordance to the courtroom ruling.

Paul Geller, an attorney who represented the metropolis in the circumstance, credited San Francisco Town Lawyer David Chiu for operating to keep firms accountable for contributing to “the horrific epidemic in the Bay Location.”

Walgreens was observed liable in 2021 for contributing to the opioid epidemic in a identical trial introduced by two Ohio counties. Walgreens and its co-defendants, CVS Well being Inc. and Walmart, are awaiting a ruling from the Ohio court docket on the amount of money they should fork out to tackle the opioid disaster in those counties.



Christopher Lewis

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