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Pharmacies Face Peril Without Opioid Settlements, Judge Says

  • More trails may be set to test thousands of damage claims
  • CVS, Walgreens say judge overreacting after failed mediation
   
Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

CVS Health Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance and other pharmacy chains face mounting pressure to settle thousands of government lawsuits over their role in the U.S. opioid epidemic, after a federal judge warned the companies they risk financial peril.

As drug makers and distributors work to resolve similar complaints, mediation has failed with pharmacies, which are accused of ignoring red flags about suspicious painkiller prescriptions. The first trials are set to start this year, and a judge on Wednesday may expand the number of early cases going before juries to help gauge the potential cost of settling all the cases.