ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) – A network of Walgreens pharmacies has reached a $ 683 million agreement with the state of Florida in a lawsuit accusing the company of improperly dispensing millions of painkillers that contributed to the opioid crisis, state officials said Thursday.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said the deal was concluded after four weeks of government evidence presented in court. Walgrins was the 12th and last defendant to agree with Florida that it would bring the state more than $ 3 billion to fight opioid addiction and overdose.
“We are now fighting armed and ready to fight back against this man-made crisis,” Moody told a news conference in Tampa. “I’m glad we were able to end this monumental lawsuit and walk past the courtroom.”
Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Illinois, said in a statement that the company recognizes no wrongdoing in a deal that will pay $ 620 million to the state over 18 years and a lump sum of $ 63 million for a lawyer. Walgreens operates more than 9,000 stores in all 50 states, according to the company’s website. About 820 of these places are in Florida.
Manufacturer OxyContin Purdue Pharma has entered into a preliminary nationwide deal that includes $ 6 billion in cash from members of the Sackler family who own the company. In total, according to the Associated Press, settlements, civil and criminal penalties across the country since 2007 have amounted to more than $ 45 billion.
The Florida case was based on allegations that when Walgreens released more than 4.3 billion opioid pills in Florida from May 2006 to June 2021, more than half contained one or more easily recognizable red flags of abuse, fraud and addiction. which the company had to notice and acted.
The opioid epidemic has linked more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades, including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and generic oxycodone, as well as illicit drugs such as heroin and illicit fentanyl.
In the same case CVS Health Corp. and CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay the state $ 484 million. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. agreed to pay $ 195 million and Allergan PLC more than $ 134 million.
Earlier, Florida received millions of dollars in payments involving McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., Johnson & Johnson Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.
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