Ohio Lawyer Says Pharmacy Distributors To Pay $878M For Opioid Epidemic

  • A lawyer for two Ohio counties said that CVS Health Corp CVSWalgreens Boots Alliance Inc WBA, and Walmart Inc WMT should fund an $878 million plan addressing the opioid crisis, writes Reuters.
  • In November, a federal jury decided that the companies created a public nuisance by flooding Ohio's Lake and Trumbull counties with addictive prescription pain pills.
  • Now, the counties want the companies to fund an $878 million five-year plan that Mark Lanier, a lawyer representing the counties, said was aimed at solving the opioid crisis rather than allocating blame.
  • CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have denied the counties' claims and said they would appeal the November verdict.
  • Related: Walgreens Announces $683M Opioid Settlement With Florida.
  • The companies have offered to fund a one-year program to buy back unused prescription opioid drugs in the two counties. 
  • They argue that Ohio's public nuisance law only requires them to stop an oversupply of prescription drugs - and not address all of its harmful effects on the communities.
  • The companies argued that if they must do more than repurchase drugs, they should not be forced to cover costs related to illegal drug use.
  • Price Action: CVS shares are down 0.16% at $98 on the last check Wednesday.
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