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Judge: Walgreens Contributed to San Francisco’s Opioid Crisis

Facts

  • On Wed., US District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that Walgreens "substantially contributed" to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco by shipping and dispensing addictive drugs without proper due diligence.[1]
  • This ruling comes as Walgreens was the only defendant not to settle in a 2018 lawsuit filed by the city that claims the company, drug manufacturers and distributors flooded the city with opioids.[2]

Sources

Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

This decision isn't only ineffective but nonsensical. The "suspicious" prescriptions were for legal drugs written by licensed doctors. As pharmacies are just a link in a long chain that caused the opioid crisis, this won't help to tackle the epidemic - it will only make pharmacies reluctant to fill legitimate prescriptions.

Establishment-critical narrative

Pharmacy chains are legally obliged to examine red-flag prescriptions, block them and alert the Drug Enforcement Agency. Walgreens failed to do this. The truth is that pharmacies have as much liability in the nationwide opioid epidemic as drug distributors and manufacturers. They've helped to engender it and failed to review their practices.