Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walgreens handled nearly one in five oxycodone and hydrocodone pills that were shipped to pharmacies between 2006 and 2012, as the opioid epidemic worsened, the Washington Post reports.

Between the lines: Walgreens is one of the companies being sued by thousands of communities across the country in federal court.

  • Unlike major drug distributors and manufacturers also being sued, it did not settle with two bellwether counties last month, and is scheduled to go to trial next year.

By the numbers: Walgreens — which bought the vast majority of its pain pills directly from manufacturers, bypassing distributors — bought about 13 billion pills over this time period. Its purchases grew over time.

  • CVS, its closest competitor, bought 3 billion fewer pills.

Because it served as its own distributor, Walgreens was also responsible for alerting the DEA to suspicious orders by its own pharmacies.

  • "Instead, about 2,400 cities and counties nationwide allege that Walgreens failed to report signs of diversion and incentivized pharmacists with bonuses to fill more prescriptions of highly addictive opioids," WashPost writes.

The bottom line: The opioid epidemic's roots run deep into the health care system, revealing profit-seeking behavior throughout the industry — which had deadly consequences.

  • The jury's still out as to whether it was illegal behavior and whether the companies involved should have to pay for the damage.

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Trump's Tucker mind-meld

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
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Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.