Walgreens is the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., a publicly traded pharmacy, healthcare, and retail company with locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Walgreens is one of the largest drugstore chains in the U.S., with approximately 9,000 stores and 17 distribution centers. According to DEA records, Walgreens Jupiter was the single largest distributor of opioid products in Florida from 2009–2012.
In 2012, the DEA inspected six Walgreens pharmacies in Florida and the Jupiter Distribution Center for possible diversion of prescription drugs for illicit use. In 2013 Walgreens agreed to pay a settlement of $80 million for civil penalties, resolving allegations of record-keeping and dispensing violations under The Controlled Substances Act. The settlement revoked Walgreens’ ability to distribute or dispense Schedule II–V substances for two years, and Walgreens agreed to enhance its training and compliance programs and stop compensating pharmacists based on prescription volume.
In 2018, the State of Florida filed suit against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy chains for their roles in the opioid epidemic. While the other defendants settled, Walgreens decided to go to trial. Allegations against Walgreens included failure to monitor or take preventative actions against excessive distribution, dispensing and diversion of opioids through negligence, and deceptive trade practices. After four weeks of trial, Walgreens settled for $683 million.
To date, Walgreens has agreed to pay about $5.7 billion over 15 years to resolve settlements nationwide. Walgreens and other pharmacies face additional opioid trials throughout the country in cases brought by states, local governments, hospitals and other third parties.
The Opioid Industry Documents Archive (OIDA) received documents with redactions. OIDA team members reviewed a sample of the documents to verify appropriate redaction of PII and PHI, adding additional redactions when warranted.