David J. Philip / AP
Internal documents quoted during the opening session of the groundbreaking opioid trial in Cleveland suggest that the country’s largest pharmacy chain has been warned by employees about the dispensing of highly addictive analgesics. ..
Marklanier, chief attorney for Giant Eagle, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, two Ohio counties suing CVS, read the document in court records as part of the opening statement.
“Walgreens has not verified the legitimacy of a suspicious order, which can lead to the fulfillment of illegal orders,” said one Walgreens memo quoted by Lanier.
Another contact from a CVS employee warned that the company’s protective measures designed to reduce prescription opioid abuse may be inadequate.
“It may have been naive in the United States to believe that it was doing everything it could to reduce the spread of this tragic problem,” said a CVS document quoted by Lanier.
NPR has asked CVS and Walgreens to comment on the documentation. CVS is not responding. A Walgreens spokesman declined to comment.
This is the latest opioid test to test US companies’ responsibility for the opioid crisis that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Both companies deny cheating. However, most experts agree that the drug epidemic went out of control in the late 1990s when companies began manufacturing, distributing, and selling much more addictive prescription analgesics.
Under Federal Controlled Substances Act, companies involved in opioid businesses, including pharmacy chains, are required to implement rigorous monitoring and safety programs.
Lanier told the jury on Monday that the chain pharmacies were “the last line of defense and they failed in their job.”
Companies blame and push back doctors and regulators
However, in this week’s legal filing and opening statement, pharmacy chain lawyers claim that they have worked in good faith to properly manage opioid sales.
“No one says the opioid crisis isn’t important,” said Walgreens lawyer Kasper Stoffelmeier.
But he told the jury that the responsibility for the addiction epidemic should be elsewhere. To the doctor who wrote the prescription and the government regulator who did not crack down on the mill.
“The Internet was a big problem,” said Stoffelmeier. “People were once able to order opioid drugs online.”
A CVS lawyer made a similar statement. “The pharmacy does not control the volume. [of opioids] “Doctors write prescriptions because they are the ones,” said Eric Delinsky.
Wal-Mart lawyers have also sought to distinguish between prescription drugs and the devastation of Ohio caused by the wider opioid epidemic.
John Majorus told the jury that many of the problems were related to “heroin, illicit drugs, and things that have nothing to do with Wal-Mart.”
However, many public health professionals believe that patients who become dependent on prescription opioids will later transition to illegal street drugs.
Ohio Trial That May Resonate Nationwide
This federal courtroom is important. Ohio has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis. One of the highest overdose mortality rates in the country..
The evidence and testimony presented over the next two months will primarily focus on dispensing millions of painkillers at pharmacies in Lake and Trumbull counties near Cleveland.
However, the proceedings are widely seen as a legal test to determine whether a company is part of it. Huge cost to respond to opioid epidemics Whole country.
More than 3,300 state and local governments have filed similar proceedings against the pharmacy chain. If a company loses, total payments are expected to reach billions of dollars.
While the trial is being rolled out, individual opioid trials against other companies involved in the opioid business are underway or awaiting decisions in California, New York, and West Virginia.
A $ 26 billion national opioid settlement involving three drug wholesalers and pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson is also in the final stages.
Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, has also reached a $ 5 to $ 10 billion bankruptcy settlement and is currently facing federal lawsuits.
Employees warned pharmacy chains that more safeguards for prescription opioids are needed: NPR
Source link Employees warned pharmacy chains that more safeguards for prescription opioids are needed: NPR
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