Giant Eagle settles pharmacy disputes with Trumbull
Lake County near Cleveland has also settled with the grocery chain.
CLEVELAND (AP) – One of four retail pharmacy companies being tested for their presumed roles in stimulating an opioid crisis in two Ohio counties, said Friday it has settled lawsuits filed by 10 state government entities that accused the companies of creating a public nuisance.
The settlement by Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle includes Lake and Trumbull counties, whose federal lawsuits are being heard in a barometer trial in Cleveland which started in early October.
The other defendants tried are CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
Payment terms have not been announced.
Another drugstore chain, Rite-Aid, moved into the two counties in August. Rite-Aid agreed to pay $ 1.5 million to Trumbull County. The amount Lake County will receive has not been disclosed.
Giant Eagle, in a joint statement with a committee representing plaintiffs in the national litigation, denied causing the opioid crisis, but said it recognizes the severity of the crisis, the impact on the public and the “job. relentless government officials working to remedy the damage “. “
“Giant Eagle intends to continue helping the communities in which it operates to productively address the opioid crisis,” the statement said.
In a separate statement, officials at Lake and Trumbull said they were focused on “supporting our action needed to address the lingering negative impacts caused by the opioid epidemic.”
US District Judge Dan Polster is overseeing the ongoing Cleveland trial and overseeing nearly 3,000 opioid lawsuits filed by government agencies and tribal entities across the country.
In the United States, more than 500,000 people have died from drug overdoses in the past two decades.
The Cleveland trial focused on how companies contributed to the opioid crisis by filling millions of prescriptions with addictive pain relievers. The four companies also distributed these drugs at various times to their retail pharmacies.
About 80 million prescription pain relievers were dispensed in Trumbull County between 2012 and 2016 – 400 for every inhabitant of the county – while 61 million tablets were dispensed in Lake County during that five-year period. – 265 tablets for each inhabitant.
The cost of reducing the crisis in each county is about $ 1 billion, one of the counties attorneys said.
âWe were hit by a tsunami and we pulled bodies out of the water,â April Caraway, executive director of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, said earlier this week.
Counties argue that lax or nonexistent corporate controls and systems to detect suspicious orders and prescriptions have contributed to the crisis. The companies said their pharmacies filled prescriptions written by doctors for legitimate medical needs.