W.Va. To Get $147.5M In Opioid Settlement From Walmart & CVS

W.Va. To Get $147.5M In Opioid Settlement From Walmart & CVS
Fri, 09/23/2022 - 22:55

The state of West Virginia has resolved two opioid claims with Walmart and CVS for $147.5 million, according to the attorney general.

The settlement resolves litigation alleging that the pharmacies failed to maintain sufficient controls against diversion as distributor and dispenser, contributing to the state's opioid oversupply.

The attorney general stated that these settlements would not bring back the lives lost due to the opioid epidemic, but they will, hopefully, give considerable assistance to those most affected by this disaster in the state. This development also prevented a costly and lengthy trial, and in the end, West Virginia will have the greatest per capita settlement results in the country fighting for our people. The settlement puts West Virginia back in first place among the nations in terms of per capita opioid settlements.

Walmart agreed to pay $65.070 million, while CVS settled for $82.5 million. The CVS contract includes 2.25% Most Favored Nation protection, which ensures that West Virginia will not be affected by a future national settlement. 

According to CVS's Manager of Corporate Communications, the deal settles state and municipal opioid claims, and CVS will no longer be a defendant in the state's litigation. The arrangement calls for a $52.5 million down payment, followed by annual installments of $3 million over the following ten years, including legal expenses.

The manager even notified that putting these claims behind is in the best interest of all parties. The company's position remains that opioid prescriptions are written by doctors, not pharmacists, and that opioid medications are made and marketed by manufacturers, not pharmacies. The company will continue to defend against the lawsuits.

The two firms are taking part in a broader experiment with other major pharmacies. The Mass Litigation Panel is still hearing cases against the other pharmacy defendants, Walgreens and Kroger. The trial is set to begin on June 5. The proceeds from all opioid settlements will be divided in accordance with the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding.

The memorandum, announced in mid-February, is an agreement with the state on how future settlement funds would be utilized to combat the state's opioid issue. It includes a detailed plan for utilizing that money to address the significant problems generated by the influx of opioids into West Virginia. To address similar action, the attorney general recently reached a deal with Rite Aid for up to $30 million.

$14M For Pierce County In Opioid Settlement

$14M For Pierce County In Opioid Settlement
Thu, 09/22/2022 - 19:15

Pierce County will receive almost $14 million from a state-negotiated settlement with opioid distributors, which authorities intend to use to battle the effects of the opioid crisis.

The announcement comes after county legislators formally accepted a settlement brokered by the Washington attorney general's office, which revealed in May that three opioid dealers would pay the state $518 million to settle a lawsuit brought more than two years ago.

The Attorney General's Office sued McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Opioid Corp. for their participation in the drug crisis, and additional jurisdictions, including Pierce County, joined the complaint.

A chairman of the county council said that the concerned officials have undertaken necessary measures to deal with the havoc created by the opioid crisis and the Opioid Task Force is one such initiative. He further added that it is not possible to bring back the lost lives, but these funds would surely provide treatment and other services for the residents to reduce the use of narcotics.

As per a county's PowerPoint presentation, the funding would be used to treat opioid use disorder, help people with addictions who are pregnant or in the criminal justice system, and educate first responders.

The money will be distributed to the county over a period of 17 years. Fees and other expenditures will be subtracted from the amount throughout the first seven years. Cities in the county with more than 10,000 people are eligible for a separate pool of $9.35 million from the settlement. The chairman even predicted that local governments will collaborate to produce regional solutions that exceed jurisdictional borders.

Opioid Discrimination Lawsuit Against Walgreens Dismissed

Opioid Discrimination Lawsuit Against Walgreens Dismissed
Wed, 09/21/2022 - 18:40

A federal court has rejected a proposed class action lawsuit accusing Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc of discriminating against people with disabilities by prohibiting pharmacists from completing high-dose opioid prescriptions.

When requested to fill high-dose opioid prescriptions, a proposed class action lawsuit accused the pharmacy of discriminating against those with impairments. In other headlines, five doctors in West Virginia pled guilty to a pain treatment conspiracy.

The San Francisco district judge's decision came as Walgreens and other drugstore owners faced thousands of lawsuits around the country, accusing them of failing to curb illegal opioid distribution, which leads to drug addiction. It is an epidemic that has killed over 500,000 individuals over the last two decades.

According to federal authorities, the five doctors pled guilty to participating in a painkiller prescription fraud involving clinics in West Virginia and Virginia. From 2010 through 2015, the strategy was linked to the Hope Clinic and involves consuming oxycodone and other prohibited medications for non-medical purposes. Some prescriptions allowed for seven tablets per day, and many Hope sites served an average of 65 or more consumers per day. A 10-hour workday with only one businessman, according to prosecutors in a news release.

According to the Justice Department, a Minnesota man was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for trafficking fentanyl, which killed 11 individuals who thought it was a less hazardous opioid.

At a city public safety committee meeting Monday, the Dallas county district attorney advocated for the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program in the face of the nation's addiction and overdose crisis, which health experts say has increased fentanyl and overdose problems in recent years. Motivated by the growing prevalence of other synthetic opioids.

5 Pharmacy Chains Sued By Erie County Over Opioid Crisis

5 Pharmacy Chains Sued By Erie County Over Opioid Crisis
Tue, 09/20/2022 - 20:37

Erie county is suing five chain pharmacies for allegedly fueling the opioid epidemic by irresponsibly filling the local market with prescription opioids, despite warning indications of dubious orders.

According to the claim, the county is trying to hold accountable the chain pharmacies that oversupplied opioids into Erie county from 2006 to 2014. Chain pharmacies failed to monitor and control the improper sale and distribution of opioids contributing to the county's opioid crisis.

According to the lawsuit, 103,169,505 doses of the opiates hydrocodone and oxycodone were administered in Erie County between 2006 and 2014. According to the lawsuit, this equates to 379 doses for every man, woman, and kid in the county.

According to the lawsuit, 2012 was the peak year for opioid prescriptions dispensed in Erie county, with 101 prescriptions dispensed for every 100 Erie county residents. This equates to more than 284,000 opioid prescriptions made in Erie county that year.

Erie county has 653 overdose fatalities between 2012 and the most current data from 2021. Between 2015 and 2020, pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone, alprazolam, methadone, clonazepam, and hydrocodone were implicated in more than 21% of overdose deaths.

CVS, Giant Eagle, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart are listed as defendants in the claim. They did not reply quickly to requests for comment and will have an opportunity to respond to the accusations in court.

The lawsuit alleges that the pharmacies failed to implement appropriate controls to prevent opioid diversion and the development of a black market for pain medicines. The lawsuit even alleges that the pharmacies failed to respond properly to concerns made by its own workers about poor standards and processes for completing opioid prescriptions.

It further argues that the chain pharmacies failed to use the data at their disposal to identify suspicious orders, suspicious red flag prescriptions, and to avoid or limit the danger of diversion.

The case arose from the worst man-made crisis in modern American medical history, an epidemic of addiction, overdose, and death caused by the defendants' flow of prescription opioids into the United States, including the plaintiff's neighbourhood.

North Dakota To Get $6M From JUUL In E-cigarette Settlement

 North Dakota To Get $6M From JUUL In E-cigarette Settlement
Mon, 09/19/2022 - 19:02

Juul, a well-known e-cigarette manufacturer, will pay North Dakota $6 million as part of a lawsuit settlement over marketing tactics.

North Dakota is making money as the state is collecting funds from vape producer JUUL for the company's youth marketing methods, which include free samples and launch parties. A manager of Moe Smoke Shop’s said that the device is slim enough to be carried by the kids in their pockets. Although the company might not have intended to oversell the product to the teens, the compact size of the vape made it easier for them.

JUUL is still the most popular brand of vape items at Moe's Smoke Shop. According to the manager of the shop, users like the design and packaging of the goods. As a result, they will be available to anyone who wants to come and acquire them. You may obtain as many as you desire. There is no restriction on those.

The FDA ordered JUUL to withdraw all products from the market and cease manufacture in June. The corporation, however, was given an emergency stay, and one Bismarck business still has the goods on hand. According to a Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Manage expert, while this may reduce the company's sales, it will not control the addiction problem.

Customers will be able to obtain similar items if JUUL is removed from the market, according to the management. As part of the agreement, JUUL is no longer allowed to feature persons under the age of 35 in their marketing or provide access to their websites without age verification. The list of limitations is extensive.

The funds of the settlement will be distributed to the state over a six-to-ten-year period. North Dakota is one of 34 states that have reached a JUUL settlement.