Intended for healthcare professionals


Opioids: US court finds major pharmacy chains guilty of contributing to crisis

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 24 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2893
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Three of the US’s largest pharmacy chains have been found guilty of contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis by allowing millions of prescription opioid pills to enter the black market, leading to thousands of deaths from overdoses.

CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens were judged responsible for playing a part in the opioid crisis. All three are huge enterprises. CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the US, with nearly 10 000 stores. Walgreens is a close second with 9277 pharmacies, and Walmart has about 4700 stores.

The decision on 23 November came in a jury trial in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland. It was the first court decision against pharmacies and may set a precedent …

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