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Walgreens sued for alleged role in fueling opioid crisis
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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit Monday against Walgreens claiming it helped to fuel the opioid crisis in the state.
The pharmacy chain, according to Rutledge, failed to report any suspicious prescription orders at its Arkansas locations and therefore exacerbated "the oversupply of such drugs and fueling an illegal secondary market.”
The attorney general noted that the crisis has "become so prevalent in Arkansas" that a majority of its counties, 66 out of the 75, have higher opioid prescribing rates than the national average. Rutledge added that with the number of opioids in the state, everyone would be able to take upward of 80 pills each over the course of a year.
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The suit claims that Walgreens "substantially" contributed to the epidemic "by selling, distributing, and dispensing far greater quantities of prescription opioids than it knows could be necessary for legitimate medical uses, while failing to report, and to take steps to halt, suspicious orders when they were identified."
The state is now seeking an injunction "to force Walgreens to act responsibly and follow federal and state laws and damages for fueling" the epidemic and "civil penalties for each violation of Arkansas’s consumer protection laws," according to Rutledge.