AG Brings Legal Challenge Against Kroger

AG Brings Legal Challenge Against Kroger

( – The Kentucky Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against one of the state’s biggest retail chains, accusing it of fueling a deadly opioid crisis. The suit, filed by Attorney General Russell Coleman against Kroger Co., claims that the company’s 100 pharmacies dispensed 11% of all opioid pills in Kentucky between 2006 and 2019, amounting to hundreds of millions of doses. They did so without safeguards in place, Mr. Coleman alleges.

AP News reported that according to a statement, Coleman said that Kroger “flooded” the state for years with a huge number of opioid pills that caused “addiction, pain, and death.” The suit seeks $2,000 for every willful violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and was filed in the Bullitt County Circuit Court in Shepherdsville.

Kroger Co. is accused of failing to adhere to regulations by not implementing a monitoring system to identify and prevent suspicious drug orders. Data that highlights unusual prescription patterns is available to the retailer, but it allegedly did not react to “red flags” and did not report a single suspicious prescription to authorities during the specified dates.

Data cited in the lawsuit claims Kroger purchased more than four billion morphine milligrams between 2006 and 2019, which amounts to 444 million opioid doses. The retailer distributed 194 million hydrocodone pills during that time, the suit continues.

Governor Andy Beshear has previously pursued opioid-producing companies due to the Bluegrass State’s high level of lethal overdoses, which the Governor says are now falling. Fatalities reached 2,127 in 2022, down from 2,257 the previous year, but Beshear said that number was still too great, according to AP. The lethal drug Fentanyl has been blamed for the high overdose rates, mirroring a nationwide trend.

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