Jury selection starts in Florida's opioid suit against Walgreens
The latest battle in the war against the opioid crisis is happening in Pasco County.
Driving the news: Jury selection began Tuesday in New Port Richey for Florida's suit against Walgreens, per Fox 13.
- Attorney General Ashley Moody plans to hold the company accountable for the role she says it played in bringing a deadly opioid epidemic to Florida.
Why it matters: After California, Florida reported the second-highest number of overdose deaths last year, at 7,200.
- Florida accounts for 7.5% of all overdose deaths in the country.
The big picture: Florida has already prevailed in several of these fights, winning more than $3 billion from other pharmaceutical companies.
- Last week, the state settled for $870 million with defendants including CVS.
- The money is supposed to go towards drug prevention measures and treatment and recovery services.
Between the lines: Moody details in court filings how a Walgreens drug distribution center sold 2.2 million pills to a single pharmacy in Hudson — a roughly six-month supply for each of Hudson's 12,000 residents.
- She also accused the company of increasing drug orders by as much as 600%, including supplying one town of 3,000 people with 285,000 orders of oxycodone in a month.
The other side: Walgreens blamed doctors for ordering improper prescriptions, filing a third-party complaint in 2020 against Drs. John and Jane Doe, but that motion was struck down in July 2020.
What's next: Opening statements in the Walgreens case are set for Monday.
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