Trial opens in Florida opioid lawsuit case against Walgreens

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Trial opened Monday in Florida’s opioid epidemic lawsuit against the Walgreens pharmacy chain.

State officials accuse the pharmacy of prioritizing profits over health by improperly dispensing millions of powerful painkillers that caused tens of thousands of deaths.

The trial, in Pasco County just north of Tampa, comes after other defendants in the Florida lawsuit including the CVS drug store chain settled for an estimated $870 million.

The state’s case hinges on accusations that as Walgreens dispensed more than 4.3 billion total opioid pills in Florida from May 2006 to June 2021, more than half contained one or more easily recognized red flags for abuse, fraud and addiction.

Walgreens denies the state’s claims.

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