59ºF

Florida sues Walgreens, CVS alleging they added to state's opioid crisis

CVS says Florida's opioid claim 'without merit'

As the opioid epidemic has skyrocketed in the United States, a rise in the number of drug overdose deaths has contributed to a rise in organ transplants, made possible by overdose-death donors, across the country.
As the opioid epidemic has skyrocketed in the United States, a rise in the number of drug overdose deaths has contributed to a rise in organ transplants, made possible by overdose-death donors, across the country. (CNN)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida is suing the nation's two largest drugstore chains, alleging they added to the state's opioid crisis.

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced late Friday that she has added Walgreens and CVS to a state-court lawsuit filed last spring against Purdue Pharma, the maker of oxycontin, and several opioid distributors.

Bondi said in a press release that CVS and Walgreens "played a role in creating the opioid crisis." She said the companies failed to stop "suspicious orders of opioids" and "dispensed unreasonable quantities of opioids from their pharmacies."

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis issued a statement Saturday saying the company is "dedicated to helping reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion." That includes training pharmacists and their assistants and public education efforts.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain says Florida's lawsuit alleging that it helped fuel the state's opioid crisis "is without merit."

Walgreens declined to comment for this story.

The federal government says about 45 people die daily because of opioid overdoses.