3 National Pharmacy Chains Ordered To Pay $650 Million Over Opioid Sales

By Bill Galluccio

August 17, 2022

Pharmacy Pills in pharmacy
Photo: Getty Images

A federal judge ruled that CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart owe two counties in Ohio $650 million for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic in the state.

Judge Dan Polster said that Trumbull County will receive $444 million, while Lake County will get $306. The money will be paid out over 15 years, but Polster said the three companies must pay $87 million immediately.

In November, a jury determined that pharmacy chains oversupplied the counties with addictive opioid pain medication and helped create a public nuisance.

From 2012 to 2016, roughly 80 million prescription painkillers were distributed in Trumbull County, which has a population of around 200,000. During the same time, 61 million pills were distributed in Lake County, which is home to just under 230,000 people.

Many of those pills ended up being sold on the black market.

Two other pharmacy chains, Rite Aid and Giant Eagle settled with the counties for an undisclosed amount before the trial.

There are currently more than 3,300 active lawsuits across the country against pharmacy chains, distributors, and drug companies, for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic, which has killed more than 500,000 people over the last 20 years.

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