The American Society for Pharmacy Law (ASPL) is an organization of attorneys, pharmacists, pharmacist-attorneys and students of pharmacy or law who are interested in the law as it applies to
pharmacy, pharmacists, wholesalers, manufacturers, state and federal government and other interested parties.

ASPL is a non-profit which encourages diversity & inclusion with the Society, regardless of differing backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, orientations, origins, and practice settings. The Society embraces participation and diversity as it leads to advancing our purpose: 

  • Furthering knowledge in the law related to pharmacists, pharmacies, the provision of pharmaceutical care, the manufacturing and distribution of drugs, and other food, drug, and medical device policy issues;
  • Communicating accurate legal educational information; and
  • Providing educational opportunities for pharmacists, attorneys, and others who are interested in pharmacy law

Latest News

August 18, 2022

OPIOID CRISIS
Chain pharmacy defendants ordered to pay $650 million in National Prescription Opiate Litigation

As reported in Pharma-Law e-News (November 2021) the federal jury in Ohio reached a jury for the plaintiffs (Lake and Trumbull Counties) on the counties’ public nuisance claim against the remaining pharmacy chain defendants: Walgreens, CVS Health, and Walmart. On August 17, the Court issued an order on its finding of damages, holding that the chain defendants were responsible for $650 million of the total award.

The award was part of an Abatement Order for the “Track Three” cases in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804. As part of the order, the approved an abatement plan proposed by plaintiffs’ witness, Caleb Alexander, MD, MS of Johns Hopkins University. The Alexander plan was initially estimated to cost $1.48 billion for Lake County, and $1.85 billion for Trumbull County, over 15 years. The Court made adjustments to these proposed amounts:

  • 6.3% for Lake County and 7.9% for Trumbull County related to “certain specific programs and interventions ... are not reasonably calculated to abate directly the actual, unreasonable interferences with public health caused by the Pharmacy Defendants.”
  • 33.8% for Lake County and 39.3% for Trumbull county to “account for opioid addiction and abuse that would have occurred even in the absence of Defendants’ wrongful conduct.”

The Court also concluded, after making these reductions, that “it will be equitable and fair to allocate one-third (33%) of the recoverable abatement costs to the Pharmacy Defendants ... The Court further concludes it is not appropriate to subdivide this allocation further by reducing the Pharmacy Defendants’ responsibility based on their market share.” As a result, the chains jointly and severally liable for $306.2 million of Lake County’s costs and $344.4 million of Trumbull County’s costs over 15 years, a total of $650.6 million. The Court ordered the pharmacy defendants to immediately pay 2 years’ worth of the award into an Abatement Fund, or $86.7 million.

The Court included an Injunction Order “containing terms similar to those in the ‘Settlement Agreement Regarding Injunctive Relief’ recently entered between the Florida Attorney General and defendants CVS and Walgreens.[Abatement Order, Doc, #4611; In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation (Track Three Cases), MDL 2804, No. 1:;17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, August 17, 2022; https://bit.ly/3wckBHe]