19 Illinois counties sue main drugstore chains, accuse them of serving to trigger the opioid disaster

CHICAGO (CBS) — A choose has ordered the nation’s largest drugstore chains to pay two small Ohio counties over $600 million {dollars} for serving to trigger the opioid disaster. 

Now, 19 Illinois counties – amongst them Cook, McHenry, and DuPage – are submitting comparable lawsuits.

As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported Monday, the Illinois counties are suing the pharmacy chains for serving to create what they name the worst man-made epidemic in fashionable medical historical past.

“When people had prescriptions presented to them for many, many times more opioids than anyone could reasonably use, they should have said no,” stated Lake County, Ohio Commissioner John Plecnik. “But it was just such a profitable business – and they did not say no.”

Last week, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland ordered CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart to pay Lake County, Ohio – positioned on Lake Erie simply east of Cleveland – and Trumbull County, Ohio simply north of Youngstown, a complete of $650 million in damages.

This week, we’re studying 19 Illinois counties are making comparable claims – towards the large three in addition to Kroger, Meijer, and Albertsons.

The lawsuit says, “The conduct of the manufacturers, distributors, and Chain Pharmacies… caused… Illinois to be awash in a flood of prescription opioids.”

From 2006 till 2014, Illinoisians acquired over 3.1 billion doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone – 3,112,236,443 to be actual. That quantities to 242 doses for each man, girl, and youngster within the state.

“These were astronomical amounts of opioids being sold,” Plecnik stated. “There was no way that a responsible pharmacy would view this as being used for medical purposes.”

In a press release to CBS 2, Deerfield-based Walgreens stated:

“As we have said throughout this process, we never manufactured or marketed opioids, nor did we distribute them to the ‘pill mills’ and internet pharmacies that fueled this crisis. We will continue to defend ourselves against the unjustified attacks of plaintiffs’ lawyers on the professionalism of our pharmacists, dedicated healthcare professionals who live and work in the communities they serve.”

As for the large sums of cash being tossed round, the cash shouldn’t be going to particular person victims – somewhat the communities hardest hit.

“Really, the first step is to be making sure there are enough beds in treatment centers; there are enough seats in treatment centers for everyone that needs them, but can’t afford to pay,” Plecnik stated.

The Illinois swimsuit claims the chain pharmacies failed to watch and prohibit distribution of opioids.

Walgreens says they’re dedicated to being a part of the answer.

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