Florida filed a lawsuit against the two major drugstore chains of U.S, Walgreens and CVS, which he accused of contributing to the national and state opiate crisis by marketing over-the-counter painkillers and not taking precautions to avoid illegal sales.
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced late Friday that she had included the two companies in a lawsuit the state filed a few months ago against Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, and several opiate distributors.
Bondi said in a statement that CVS and Walgreens "contributed to the creation of the opioid crisis." He said the companies did not stop "suspicious orders of opiates" and "their pharmacies provided excessive amounts of opioids." On average, about 45 people die every day from an overdose of opiates nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We will continue to pursue the companies that contributed to the creation of the opiate crisis," said Bondi, who could be proposed by Donald Trump to replace Jeff Sessions, who was recently fired as secretary of justice, according to the press. "Thousands of Florida residents have suffered as a result of the defendants' actions."
In a statement released on Saturday, CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the suit "lacks merit." He said the company trains its pharmacists and employees about their responsibilities when they send controlled substances and provides them with tools to detect possible illegal sales.
"In recent years, CVS has taken a number of steps to strengthen our current safeguards to address the country's opiate epidemic," DeAngelis said.
Walgreens said on Saturday it was not making statements about pending lawsuits.
Even before the intervention of law enforcement officials earlier in the decade, Florida was famous for its offices that provided customers with opiate steam recipes.
Drug dealers across the country have sent accomplices to small clinics for unscrupulous doctors to prescribe opioids to treat wounds or false illnesses.