CLEAVELAND (AP) – One of four retail pharmacies being prosecuted for their alleged role in contributing to the opioid crisis in two Ohio counties announced Friday that it has settled claims filed by 10 state government agencies that have accused companies of creating an open society. trouble.
The Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle settlement includes Lake and Trumbull counties, whose federal claims are pending in a Cleveland lawsuit that began in early October. Other defendants in court are CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
The timing of the calculations was not disclosed. Another pharmacy chain, Rite-Aid, merged with two counties in August. Rite-Aid has agreed to pay Trumbull County $ 1.5 million. The amount Lake County will receive is not disclosed.
The Giant Eagle, in a joint statement with a committee representing the plaintiffs in the national lawsuit, denied the cause of the opioid crisis, but said it acknowledges the severity of the crisis, the impact on the public and “the hard work of government officials working to eliminate the harm.” “
“Giant Eagle is committed to continuing to help the communities in which it operates in a productive solution to the opioid crisis,” the statement said.
In a separate statement, Lake and Trumbull County officials said they are focused on “supporting our necessary action to address the sustained negative impact of the opioid epidemic.”
US District Judge Dan Polster oversees the ongoing lawsuit in Cleveland and oversees nearly 3,000 opioid lawsuits from government agencies and tribes across the country.
More than 500,000 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses in the past two decades.
The Cleveland trial focused on how companies contributed to the opioid crisis by completing millions of pain reliever prescriptions. All four companies also distributed these drugs to their retail pharmacies at various times.
Trumbull County dispensed nearly 80 million prescription pain relievers between 2012 and 2016, 400 to each county resident, while Lake County dispensed 61 million tablets over that five-year period – 265 tablets per resident. …
The cost of recovering from the crisis in each county is about $ 1 billion, said one county attorney.
“We were hit by a tsunami and we were pulling bodies out of the water,” April Caraway, executive director of Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, said earlier this week.
Counties argue that weak or non-existent company oversight and systems for detecting suspicious orders and prescriptions contributed to the crisis. The companies said their pharmacies receive prescriptions from doctors for legitimate medical needs.