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Opioid Epidemic Update: Pharmacies Can Be Liable, Too


In a surprising turn of events, a federal jury in Ohio found that major pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS are partially liable for the ongoing opioid epidemic. At least, the jury found those companies’ pharmacies responsible in two specific Ohio counties. But the outcome of the case could have significant legal ramifications on how courts across the country determine liability for opioid overdose deaths and municipal spending to treat people with severe opiate addictions.

According to plaintiffs in lawsuits brought against the pharmacy giants, the pharmacies should take more action to halt opioid prescriptions when it seems like an addiction could be forming or when it seems the prescription might be unnecessary. The cases argued that pharmacy technicians were not given enough training to recognize the warning signs, so they couldn’t protect patients even if they wanted. The result is a situation in which doctors get kickbacks to write opioid prescriptions, and there is no one else in between the patient and a potentially harmful prescription.

All three companies have been adamant that they did nothing wrong and that their pharmacies should not have been found responsible for the massive uptick of opioid prescriptions and overdoses in those two Ohio counties. They have argued that the full responsibility to limit opioid prescriptions rests on the doctors who prescribe them – or not. With the jury ruling against that argument at the end of a lengthy trial, there are now increased opportunities to demand more protective action from more parties, all the way down the opioid prescription line.

(For more information about this ongoing story, you can click here to view a full article from NBC News.)

Don’t Blame Yourself for Your Addiction

The jury’s decision to hold big-name pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens accountable for contributing to the opioid epidemic is significant. It shows that many people with opioid addictions did not fall into such dangerous cycles on their own accord. Instead, tampering and pressure from outside sources – sometimes as huge as a corporation – can push them to start taking an unsafe, addictive drug.

If you are living with opioid addiction, then know that you shouldn’t put the blame fully on yourself, and you should never feel ashamed for knowing you need help. Please seek the assistance of a professional recovery center to discover all the ways you can fight addiction and live a happy, sober life again. For people in Georgia, The Carter Treatment Center is one of the most popular and trusted names in recovery. Contact us now to learn more about our addiction treatment services.