Kentucky’s attorney general on Wednesday sued CVS Health, accusing its pharmacy chain of flooding the United States state with prescription opioids that contributed to the state’s addiction woes.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed the lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court, saying the healthcare company played a role in “fueling the crisis” by inundating the state with millions of doses of powerful prescription painkillers.
“As both distributor and pharmacy, CVS was in a unique position to monitor and stop the peddling of these highly-addictive drugs from their stores, yet they ignored their own safeguard systems,” Cameron said in a news release.
It’s the state’s latest legal action against companies it blames for supplying a massive pipeline of prescription pills into Kentucky. In 2015, drug overdoses accounted for about 60 percent of Kentucky’s statewide accidental deaths, Cameron said. The Republican attorney general is pressing lawsuits against several other opioid manufacturers and distributors. Many of those suits were filed by Cameron’s predecessor, Democrat Andy Beshear, who is now Kentucky’s governor.
CVS Health did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The company operates one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains.
The new lawsuit says CVS Health used unlawful business practices and failed to guard against the diversion of the powerful opioids.