Walmart, CVS and Walgreens must pay $650M for filling prescriptions to pill mills in opioid crisis

A federal judge in Ohio found the pharmacy chains accountable for filling prescriptions even after suspecting doctors were operating pill mills.

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A landmark ruling orders pharmacy chains Walmart, CVS and Walgreens to pay a combined $650 million for their role in fueling the opioid crisis, as other cases have focused on opioid makers and wholesalers that distribute the addictive painkillers. A federal judge in Ohio found the pharmacy chains accountable for filling prescriptions even after suspecting doctors were operating pill mills. “It’s high time that all the players in this terrible chain of manufacture, prescribing, dispensing, are held responsible for their actions,” says Barry Meier, author of “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covered the opioid crisis for decades at The New York Times. He also discusses similar rulings against Walgreens and others in San Francisco and Florida.

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