In Ohio, a federal judge sentenced Walmart Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. to pay $650.6 million to two counties in the same state for damages related to opioid crisis.
The pharmaceutical must pay, on the one hand, 306.2 million dollars to Lake County, while they will have to pay 344.4 million to Trumbull County. These fees have to be paid over the next 15 years to help counties deal with the consequences of the public health crisis created by the improper sale of drugs.
The order of the federal Judge of Cleveland, Dan A. Polster, directed Walmart Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. to study measures to implement systems that guarantee full compliance with federal laws on the control of drug sales.
The total cost to pharmaceutical companies facing opioid lawsuits could ultimately be more than $22 billion, according to estimates by Holly Froum of Bloomberg Intelligence.
After learning of the ruling, the CVS shares fell 1.3 percent, Walgreens 2.8 percent and Walmart 0.2 percent.
Municipalities across the country have accused opioid manufacturers, distributors and sellers of downplaying the addiction risks of painkillers and sacrificing patient safety for financial gain.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in recent decades as part of the opioid crisis in the United States, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.