Tennessee Sues Walgreens Over Opioid Crisis

Tennessee Sues Walgreens Over Opioid Crisis
Sat, 08/06/2022 - 08:45

Tennessee state's attorney general said on Wednesday that he has filed a lawsuit against Walgreens, claiming that the pharmacy giant failed to maintain adequate safeguards against the misuse of prescription painkillers, which contributed to the state's opioid problem.

The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act is allegedly violated in the case filed in Knox County Circuit Court asking for unspecified monetary fines. According to the complaint, more than 1.1 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets were distributed by Tennessee-based Walgreens retail shops between 2006 and 2020. Over that time, a single pharmacy in Jamestown alone supplied enough opioids to provide each person with 2,104 doses.

According to a statement from the attorney general, Walgreens did not accidentally oversupply the state of Tennessee with opioids. Instead, business actions made by Walgreens were the consequence of knowing or wilfully uninformed ignorance, which contributed gasoline to the flames of the opioid pandemic. Walgreens failed to recognize and stop the misuse and diversion of hazardous opioids while ignoring many warning signs.

Walgreens declared in a statement on Wednesday night that it never produced, marketed, or provided opioids to the pain clinics and pill factories that sparked this problem. The business will keep fighting back against the unfounded criticisms of pharmacists' professionalism as committed healthcare providers who reside in the neighborhoods they serve.

According to the lawsuit, Walgreens caused a public nuisance and for years neglected to exercise due diligence or instruct its pharmacists on how to spot red flags of opiate misuse and diversion. The lawsuit even stated that the people from at least 31 different states received opioid prescriptions from Tennessee Walgreens locations.

Tennessee Walgreens pharmacies filled 103,000 prescriptions for medications from a Germantown obstetrician between June 2013 and March 2014. According to the lawsuit, over 20% of those were for out-of-state patients.

Numerous opiate prescriptions for kids as young as two years old were filled by Walgreens. According to the complaint, a dentist in Erin issued a prescription that was 2.5 times the maximum daily opioid amount advised for an adult.

Nearly the past 20 years, over 500,000 fatalities in the United States have been directly attributed to the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose.

More than 3,000 lawsuits concerning the opioid crisis have been brought in state and federal courts by state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions, hospitals, and other organizations.

Early this year, the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson completed a $5 billion nationwide settlement. A $21 billion agreement was concluded by national medication delivery companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, is pleading with a judge to approve a package that may involve up to $6 billion from Sackler family members.

$400M Settlement Between WV & Three Big Opioid Distributors

$400M Settlement Between WV & Three Big Opioid Distributors
Sat, 08/06/2022 - 08:41

A historic 400 million dollar settlement between West Virginia and the three largest opioid distributors in the country has been reached.

The deal was reached after a lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson was postponed last month. The lawyers requested the extension so they could figure out the specifics of the deal.

The statement on Monday is seen as a success for a state where the opioid epidemic has killed thousands of people and affected thousands of families via addiction and overdose.

Cities and counties will get the $400 million to resolve numerous drug lawsuits in federal and state court.

According to one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, the payment is viewed as a bittersweet win for lives already gone. Although this settlement would focus on particular projects to help curb the opioid crisis over a 12-year period, he said that no amount of money can rehabilitate past victims.

This money is intended to halt the issue from getting worse. The money received from this settlement does not go to the parents, nor does it go to the siblings. This needs to end so that the young child down the street doesn't develop a drug addiction.

The settlement's parameters will now be distributed to counties and communities around the state for ratification.

Before hosting a hearing for public comment, the county will not spend a single penny of the funds, according to the president of the Kanawha County Commission. He said that funding initiatives like drug rehabilitation and first responder training are a crucial component of their long-term strategy.

A $21 billion nationwide settlement with the distributors was not thought to be open to the state. However, thanks to this arrangement, West Virginia will get more settlement funds per person than any other state and a portion that is more than twice as large.

Following an unfavorable ruling on July 4 during a bench trial, the city of Huntington and Cabell County, the first in the nation to sue the major three manufacturers in federal court, were excluded from the settlement.

The omission of Huntington and Cabell County, according to a co-counsel, is particularly upsetting because this region is the hub of the opioid epidemic that gave rise to the federal lawsuit.

The attorney general of West Virginia stated in a statement that he is pleased to see the legal system function as it ought to by helping West Virginia towns that have been severely impacted by opioid misuse. This settlement, along with other settlements from other cases, will provide significant help to those affected the most by the opioid crisis in West Virginia. He continued by saying that he had always predicted that when it came to battling for our people, West Virginia will get the highest per capita settlement outcomes nationwide.

States Reach A $2.4B Deal With Opioid Manufacturer

 States Reach A $2.4B Deal With Opioid Manufacturer
Wed, 08/03/2022 - 15:41

In an agreement with 12 states over its advertising and product safety procedures, a former opioid manufacturer has in principle agreed to pay up to $2.4 billion as revealed by the state attorneys general Friday.

Although Allergan is now a part of AbbVie, it sold Teva Pharmaceuticals its generics subsidiary Actavis, which included its opioid medications, six years ago. According to the Pennsylvania attorney general, state and local governments will receive compensation as part of the settlement.

According to the deal, pharmaceutical corporations have agreed to pay more than $40 billion to resolve manufacturer and distributor claims relating to the opioid crisis.

The deal was concluded a few days after a comparable $4.3 billion deal with Teva Pharmaceuticals. A representative for Teva declined to comment on the circumstance.

According to the attorney general, the claims that the company Allergan, which manufactured generic opioids under the Norco and Kadian brands, minimized the risk of addiction in marketing and did not take enough measures to stop the drugs from being improperly diverted, were the subject of the settlement.

No amount of money could ever replace the lives we lost, the AG said, but the deal reached today will make it possible to pay for the initiatives required by Pennsylvania counties for our communities to recover from this disaster.

The subject of Allergan's and Teva's business methods and openness is still being discussed. California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are all parties to this international pact. It will be possible for other states to join. In December, New York and Allergan reached a settlement.

Nearly the past 20 years, over 500,000 fatalities in the United States have been directly attributed to the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose. The attorney general of North Carolina stated on Friday that until 2020, daily overdose deaths in his state will account for nine deaths.

According to the attorney general of North Carolina, no amount of money could ever make up for that kind of loss, but there is hope in recovery, and because of our ongoing efforts to hold these drug companies accountable, people all over this state are receiving the care and support they need to get well.

Johnson & Johnson, a pharmaceutical company, completed a $5 billion settlement earlier this year. AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, three national medication delivery companies, recently signed a $21 billion deal. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, is pleading with a judge to approve a package that may involve up to $6 billion from Sackler family members.

3M Creates $1B Trust To Settle Veterans' Suits Over Earplugs

3M Creates $1B Trust To Settle Veterans' Suits Over Earplugs
Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:43

3M is creating a $1 billion trust to resolve claims brought by tens of thousands of American service men and veterans over earplugs they claimed were defective and caused severe hearing loss.

The company maintained that its dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were efficient and secure when used as directed while announcing on Tuesday that it was taking serious action. Aearo Technologies, the division that produced the earplugs, would declare bankruptcy, according to the notice from 3M.

There have been over 235,000 claims made against 3M regarding the earplugs, and 16 lawsuits have gone to trial since 2019, with 3M winning six and losing ten. Since 3M has challenged those decisions, the plaintiffs in those instances have not collected their roughly $300 million combined reward.

The earplugs in question were Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, manufactured by 3M and distributed to soldiers between 2003 and 2015. They had two ends, one that completely muffled sound and the other that protected wearers from loud noises like gunshots or explosions while allowing them to hear a conversation and other, gentler noises.

According to the lawsuits, many users found the earplugs to be excessively short, and a fault in the design caused them to slip into the user's ear almost imperceptibly, letting harmful sounds through.

The Justice Department filed charges against 3M in 2018, alleging that the company provided the defense department with earplugs that were purposefully too short to accommodate all service personnel while concealing this knowledge from the military services.

Despite paying $9.1 million to resolve the dispute, 3M made no admissions of guilt. The new trust will offer expedited compensation to claimants in a way that is more effective and equitable for all parties, according to a news statement published by 3M on Tuesday.

According to 3M Chairman and CEO's statement, the company will continue to be devoted to the military as active partners and beloved customers in the future because it has a great deal of respect for the courageous men and women who guard the country.

However, lawyers who have defended the plaintiffs claim that the trust and associated bankruptcy may actually impede resolution and reduce payment amounts. The Maryland-based legal firm described the $1 billion as an insultingly little sum that would only provide each plaintiff $5,000.  

According to the law firm representing the hundreds of soldiers and veterans who have filed claims, 3M is presently under a lot of pressure due to the potential for hundreds of trials in the next year. That pressure will be immediately released by the bankruptcy stay, giving 3M additional negotiating power.

The company's CEO defended the earplugs in a press statement and on a conference call with investors on Tuesday by saying that they offer reliable hearing protection when worn appropriately. The CEO even stated that Aearo's choice to file for bankruptcy and the creation of the trust show that 3M is acting to settle disputes.