CVS, Walgreens and Walmart perpetuated the opioid crisis, the jury finds

“We all know it’s prescribers who control demand,” said Brian Swanson, a Walgreens lawyer. “Pharmacies do not create demand.”

Defendants’ attorneys have repeatedly pointed the finger at federal authorities. Not only were the drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they said, but the DEA was also responsible for the huge amounts. Federal regulators set the annual limit on the number of opioids that could be produced in the country, which they continued to increase through 2012.

In his latest remarks, Lanier acknowledged that there were many contributors to the crisis. But the pharmacies could not escape responsibility, he claimed, by saying that they only put relatively small amounts of opioids into the counties (and he disputed the defense̵[ads1]7;s calculation method).

He then produced a model bridge made of hundreds of Lego, to render a bridge over the Cuyahoga River that can be seen from the courthouse.

Society depends on the robustness of the bridge’s steel trestle, he said.

But what if two or three are rotten or in the wrong place when people drive over it? he asked, knocking out only a few. “Anything can fall,” he said, as the model smashed in front of the jury.

It remains to be seen whether this judgment will stand on appeal. In addition to the many legal issues that arise from the case, the defendant is expected to continue his criticism of Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who led the trial and for years has overseen the merging of thousands of opioid lawsuits.

The statement from Walgreens seemed to predict the same thing: “We believe that the district court made significant legal errors by leaving the case before a jury on a deficient legal theory that is contrary to Ohio law,” it said. As we have said through this process, we never produced or marketed opioids, nor did we distribute them to the “pill factories” and Internet pharmacies that ran this crisis. and unsustainable. “

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