Take a moment to consider that, in 2016 alone, retail pharmacies across the United States distributed an estimated 214 million (yes, million) opioid prescriptions (66 medications per 100 patients). Now you might realize why the public and the government have started to take drastic measures to combat this problem. Recently, Florida pushed its outrage to the next step when the state government sued big-brand companies CVS and Walgreens for directly contributing to the Opioid Crisis. According to the allegations, the companies have failed to exercise protocol to control painkillers and have turned a metaphorical blind eye to illegal opioid sales. Grab your sunscreen and your sunhat as we head to the Sunshine State to see why it is taking on CVS and Walgreens.
Accounts from the Attorney General
On Friday, November 16, 2018, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made the announcement that she added CVS and Walgreens to a state-court lawsuit that had recently been filed against Purdue Pharma (the creator of OxyContin) and other distributors of opioids. In a press release, Bondi targeted CVS and Walgreens as direct contributors to the Opioid Crisis and revealed that the companies failed to stop suspicious activity (including orders for the addictive painkillers). Keep in mind that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 people die daily as a direct result of opioid overdoses (on a national average).
Bondi has passionately announced that she will not stop attacking these companies until they take appropriate action and will continue to defend the health of Floridians.
The Other Side of the Field
Nevertheless, Mike DeAngelis (a spokesman for CVS) said this lawsuit is not grounded and is completely ridiculous. Based on his report, the company rigorously trains pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about how to handle controlled substances like opioids and has taken multiple actions to combat America’s Opioid Crisis. So how did this problem start?
Until ten years ago, Florida was notorious for being a home base for pain mills, locations where people could obtain illegal opioids. Over the years, people from these sites would go to pharmacies, where doctors would casually write prescriptions for these dangerous medications. Now, you might see why the Attorney General is cracking down on CVS and Walgreens so hard.
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