The opioid epidemic is finally showing signs of getting under control, but opioid lawsuits are only increasing. Purdue Pharma is one big player that’s faced cases due to its involvement in the opioid epidemic.
There are even smaller opioid manufacturers filing for bankruptcy after court rulings hit high payouts to victims of the opioid epidemic. In 2019 opioid lawsuits, big-name drug stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS, had cases filed against them. Learn more about these lawsuits and the response of certain brands with our Stuart, Florida, Banyan Treatment Center.
The Latest Opioid Lawsuits Against Drug Stores
Previous opioid lawsuits have targeted opioid manufacturers, and 2019’s opioid cases aim to utilize the court to highlight how complicit drug store giants have been in the epidemic. Cities, towns, and Native American communities have all combined efforts to file lawsuits against drug store giants like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. The lawsuits compile internal documents, emails, and other information to paint a picture of complacency, where these companies were aware of excessive opioid prescriptions.
In one notable Florida Walgreens pharmacy, the store was requesting 3,271 bottles of oxycodone a month while the store’s city only had a population of 2,831.
The Walmart opioid lawsuit, CVS opioid lawsuit, and Walgreens opioid lawsuit show how failures among pharmacies and drug stores contributed to the worsening opioid epidemic. These cases entered the trial stage in October of 2019. The trials have focused on the complacency of these companies and their hand in the worsening of the historical epidemic, whether intentional or unintentional.
One Companies Response Should Set the Standard
On November 15, 2022, New York Times announced a Walmart Settlement payout of $3.1 billion. This sum was determined to mitigate the thousands of lawsuits faced by the company as a result of its pharmacy’s involvement in the opioid crisis. The money will be dedicated to funding drug education programs, as well as offering affected people the ability to participate in an opioid rehabilitation program.
Of the $3.1 billion, $89 million will be paid to Native American tribes that have felt a particularly devastating effect of the epidemic.2 These efforts are intended to clean up the widespread mess that these companies’ complacency has contributed to. It is hopeful that communities will no longer continue to struggle with the ongoing wave of addiction and overdose.
In regard to Walgreens and CVS, deals are still being negotiated. It is estimated that once a deal is finalized, the total amount in settlements between all three retailers will reach roughly $13.1 billion, $400 million of which will go toward the Native American tribes. Although no amount of money will bring back the lives that have been lost, it is at least a step in the right direction.
What We Can Learn from These Opioid Lawsuits
The countless lawsuits show how numerous companies, corporations, and individuals turned a blind eye to the problem. Overprescribing by doctors isn’t the only issue. These recent cases show that pharmacies and drug stores may have also shared a degree of responsibility for the worsening of the epidemic by filing excessive numbers of prescriptions without question.
It highlights the role that greed can play in the scope of addiction. It is daunting to consider how many people would have rather gotten their paycheck instead of paying attention to the numerous red flags that have popped up over the years. The “easy” method of filling prescriptions without questioning the discrepancies present has caused an irreparable amount of damage. The after-effects of this damage may be felt for years to come, but it is crucial to remember that all hope is not lost.
While recent lawsuits are helping to hold corporations responsible for their hand in the opioid epidemic, those who have active opioid addictions need help to find sobriety. Banyan Stuart offers opioid addiction treatment programs to help patients overcome their dependence. Our trained professionals will administer a variety of therapies and treatments that will address each patient’s unique situation.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, call our Stuart, FL, rehab at 888-280-4763 to learn how we can help.
- New York Times – 3,271 Pill Bottles, a Town of 2,831: Court Filings Say Corporations Fed Opioid Epidemic
- New York Times - Walmart Agrees to Pay $3.1 Billion to Settle Opioid Lawsuits