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Tipsheet

Major Drugstore Chain to Pay San Francisco Hundreds of Millions in Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Walgreens will pay the city of San Francisco, California almost $230 million to settle a case over the company’s role in the distribution of opioids in the city.

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The settlement came nine months after U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said that the drugstore chain could be held liable for having “substantially contributed” to the city’s opioid epidemic that has caused “widespread harm,” according to a report from Reuters

Reportedly, Breyer found that Walgreens’ San Francisco locations received more than 1.2 million opioid prescriptions with “red flags” from 2006 to 2020 and conducted “due diligence” on less than 5 percent before dispensing the prescriptions. 

In a statement, San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu explained that San Francisco has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

“Opioids have wreaked havoc across our nation leading to immense suffering and untold damage,” Chiu said in a statement. “Cities like San Francisco have shouldered much of the burden of the opioid epidemic. Thousands of attorneys, public health officials, and advocates have spent nearly two decades trying to hold the opioid industry accountable for creating this public health crisis.”

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Last May, Reuters reported, Walgreens reached a $683 million opioid settlement with Florida. 

Late last year, Townhall reported how a 10-month-old baby was exposed to fentanyl at a San Francisco playground and nearly died. The baby’s father, Ivan Matkovic, said his infant son Senna and his twin brother Antun were playing at Moscone Park on Tuesday when their nanny noticed Senna was beginning to lose consciousness, according to NBC Bay Area.

“So, I shake him and I’m like ‘something’s wrong.' I saw his face and he was, like, dizzy. I thought he was not breathing," Wendy Marroqui, the family’s nanny, said. Marroqui began applying CPR and called 911.

Matkovic came to the park from work and saw paramedics helping his son breathe. He then saw a paramedic administer Narcan, which reverses the effects of a drug overdose long enough to transport someone to the hospital for medical care.  Reportedly, Matkovic said that exposure to drugs wasn’t on his mind and that he was grateful the first responders recognized the signs.

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