CVS, Walgreens sue Ohio physicians, claim they share blame for opioid crisis

Maia Anderson - Print  | 

Major retail pharmacy chains including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are suing hundreds of physicians in Ohio, claiming they need to take responsibility for their part in the opioid epidemic, according to The Washington Post.

The drugstore chains face an October trial in the federal opioid litigation led by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland. 

In legal papers filed Jan. 6, the pharmacy chains argued that physicians and other prescribers should have to pay some legal penalty if drugstores are found liable, as the drugstores were simply following the directions of the physicians. 

"This complaint is required to respond to the unsubstantiated allegations by plaintiffs that pharmacists should not have filled prescriptions, written by doctors, for FDA-approved opioid medications," Phil Caruso, a spokesperson for Walgreens said in a Jan. 7 email to the Post. "We strongly believe that the overwhelming majority of prescriptions dispensed were properly prescribed by doctors to meet the legitimate needs of their patients."

The legal papers reportedly identified the defendants as "John and Jane Does 1-500," and did not specifically name any physicians. The chains that filed the papers said they would disclose specific names of the physicians if their identities became apparent during legal proceedings, according to the Post

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