PanaTimes

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

US judge to decide how much pharmacies owe over opioid crisis

US judge to decide how much pharmacies owe over opioid crisis

Approximately 80 million prescription painkillers were dispensed in Trumbull County between 2012 and 2016 — 400 for every county resident — while 61 million pills were dispensed in Lake County during that five-year period — 265 pills for every resident.

How much money should CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies pay two Ohio counties in damages to help abate the effects of the opioid crisis?

That is the question in front of a federal judge in Cleveland, who will begin hearing testimony on Tuesday after a jury found the three giant pharmacy chains responsible last fall for recklessly distributing massive amounts of pain pills in Lake and Trumbull counties. It was the first time pharmacies in the United States have been held responsible for the opioid crisis.

Plaintiff’s lawyers said before the trial that each county needs about $1bn to repair the damage caused by the flood of pills, which caused hundreds of overdose deaths.

Approximately 80 million prescription painkillers were dispensed in Trumbull County between 2012 and 2016 — 400 for every county resident — while 61 million pills were dispensed in Lake County during that five-year period — 265 pills for every resident.

Back in November, a jury in US District Judge Dan Polster’s courtroom sided with the counties and agreed that the way the pharmacies dispensed pain medication played an outsized role in creating a public nuisance.

Now, the counties are expected to present testimony from doctors to discuss the harm suffered by those communities, the opioid crisis’ effect on child welfare and other county agencies, and an abatement plan created for the counties.

“The jury sounded a bell that should be heard through all pharmacies in America,” Mark Lanier, the lead lawyer for the counties, said after November’s verdict.

Across the US, many lawsuits filed by governments over the toll of the drugs have been resolved in recent years — most with settlements, and some with judgments or verdicts in trials. So far, drug makers, distributors and pharmacies have agreed to settlements totalling well more than $40bn, according to an Associated Press tally.

Trials are under way in courts in West Virginia, Florida and California. A decision has not yet been issued after another trial last year in West Virginia.

According to an April 25 court filing, the abatement plan created for Lake and Trumbull counties by Dr Caleb Alexander of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “are reasonable and necessary to abate the public nuisance found by the jury”.

The plan focuses on prevention, treatment, recovery and “measures intended to specifically address the needs of special populations who have been uniquely affected by the opioid epidemic”, the court filing said.

Lawyers for Walgreens and Walmart argued in a court filing that the counties’ $878m abatement plan should be limited to one year and not the minimum of five years the counties argue they need. One of the pharmacy chains’ experts has estimated the actual cost at $346m while another expert said it was less than $35m, the filing said.

Defence lawyers also argued that damage caused by other entities who contributed to the public nuisance of opioid addiction should be excluded from any amounts awarded by Polster and that those costs should be limited to the pharmacies’ “appropriate share of contribution to the nuisance”.

Pharmacy chain Rite-Aid settled with the counties in early October before the start of the trial. Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle reached a settlement with the counties in late October after the trial started.

There were nearly 500,000 deaths caused by legal and illegal opioids between 2000 and 2019, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
Good news: US moves to shield Saudi crown prince in journalist killing
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Boris Johnson is about to sign a contract with an American company to get millions for giving speeches. Something he did until very recently for free.
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
Bavarian Prime Minister Söder: "There is no reason for mask obligations, no lockdowns anymore”
×