What We're Reading: Ohio Pharmacies Liable in Opioid Case; Patient Death on Aduhelm; Juul to Pay $14.5 Million in Vaping Lawsuit

A federal jury in Cleveland found CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis; concerns rise after the death of a woman who received infusions of the Alzheimer disease drug Aduhelm; Juul vowed to stop advertising its vaping products to young people in Arizona.

Cleveland Jury Holds Pharmacies Liable for Opioid Crisis

A federal jury said CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in 2 Ohio counties, the Associated Press reported. Lake and Trumbull counties argued the 3 chain pharmacies did not stop distributing the pills after they caused hundreds of overdose deaths and cost each county about $1 billion. Attorneys for the pharmacies said they followed policies when pharmacists had concerns and notified authorities of suspicious orders, emphasizing that doctors controlled how many pills were prescribed, not the pharmacists. This verdict comes weeks after juries in Oklahoma and California found multiple drug companies not liable for their roles in the opioid crises in each state, and it could set the tone for other state juries that want to hold pharmacies accountable. CVS Health, Walgreen Co, and Walmart Inc each said they will appeal the verdict.

Aduhelm Concerns Rise After Woman’s Death

Concerns about the safety of Biogen’s Alzheimer disease drug Aduhelm have increased following the death of a 75-year-old woman who died after being infused with the drug, The New York Times reported. The woman lived in Canada and was a participant in a clinical trial for the drug. She died in September, experiencing seizures and brain swelling after receiving infusions of Aduhelm. A doctor reported her death to the FDA’s adverse event reporting system, and the death is being investigated by both the FDA and Biogen. In a statement, Biogen said the cause of death is unknown at this time.

Juul to Pay $14.5 Million to Arizona in Vaping Settlement

Major e-cigarette company Juul Labs is set to pay the state of Arizona $14.5 million in a consumer fraud lawsuit settlement, vowing to stop marketing to young people in the state, as reported by the Associated Press. The agreement requires Juul not to advertise near schools or on social media, nor target anyone under 21. This is the second settlement Juul has reached with Arizona state prosecutors and ends litigation filed in January 2020 against Juul and Eonsmoke claiming the 2 companies illegally targeted younger people in their marketing. Although Arizona previously won a $22.5 million judgment against Eonsmoke, the state has not collected any of the money. Juul Labs stopped all advertising before the lawsuit and admitted no wrongdoing in settling the case, calling it “another step in our ongoing effort to reset our company.” The company has also stopped selling all flavored products except menthol.