US District Judge Dan Polster has dismissed an effort by pharmacies to shift their liability for the opioid crisis to physicians and practitioners in the two Ohio counties suing them, alleging they created a public nuisance. Polster ruled Tuesday that lawsuits filed by Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, and Summit County, which includes Akron, are not tied to prescribing practices, but to the failure of the companies to implement systems and policies to prevent the illegal diversion of opioid analgesics. "Plaintiffs' theory and intended proof do not rely on whether prescribers made negligent or fraudulent representations," Polster wrote. The judge said that adding claims against prescribers would cause a significant delay in the trial of the counties' lawsuits against Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Discount Drug Mart, and HBC, scheduled to begin in November. The Associated Press
(1 April) notes attorneys for the pharmacy chains had argued Polster should reject the counties' claims because pharmacies can fill only prescriptions written by prescribers authorized by the state of Ohio and registered with the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Polster is overseeing more than 2,000 opioid-related lawsuits filed by cities, counties, tribal governments and hospitals against drugmakers, distributors, and pharmacies seeking to hold them accountable for the opioid crisis.
From "Judge Dismisses Pharmacies' Lawsuit Against Physicians"
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