Walgreens sued for ‘dual role’ in state’s opioid epidemic

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a lawsuit against Walgreens for allegedly failing to use its unique position as a pharmacy and distributor to prevent the flood of opioids into Kentucky.

The lawsuit, filed in Boone Circuit Court, alleges unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices by Walgreens for excessively distributing and dispensing opioids in Kentucky and for failing to legally report to state and federal authorities the suspiciously large orders it received for prescription opioids.

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Beshear says, as a distributor, the company has real-time data regarding exact amounts of pills, pill types and customer orders for its store and is legally required to report suspicious orders to the DEA.

He says, as a pharmacy, it is legally required to monitor and flag suspicious customer prescriptions, such as individuals traveling long distances to fill prescriptions or doctors prescribing outside the scope of their usual practice.

Beshear says Walgreens knew or should have known of Kentucky’s exceedingly high rate of suspicious opioid shipments and prescriptions and the significant correlating risk of abuse, misuse and diversion of prescription opioids.

This is the sixth opioid related lawsuit Beshear has filed.