(CTN News) – Dan Alberstone leaves New Mexico as a winner, but the cost of his Walgreens efforts will be high.
According to Alberstone, with the Law Firm of Baron and Budd, families and communities throughout the state have been ravaged by the fires.
As a result of the involvement of Hector Balderas, the former Attorney General of New Mexico, he represented the state of New Mexico in a two-month bench trial against pharmacies.
According to the allegation, pharmacies failed to fulfill their Walgreens responsibilities for distributing opioids within the community.
Alberstone said that one of the misconceptions about pharmacies is that they only fill prescriptions, and that is all they do. The pharmacy is the last line of defense in this case, as I made clear in my testimony to the court.”
Initially, pharmacies settled with the state one by one, but Walgreens refused to settle and went to court. A New Mexico mom told Alberstone the story of her 15-year-old son in court, Alberstone said.
“I was a fantastic athlete, did a lot well in school, was a great athlete, got injured once or twice – I believe while playing football,” Alberstone said.
In the case of the student, he was prescribed opioids that were filled at pharmacies and became addicted to them.
There was always a revolving door of rehab Walgreens situations for this kid, halfway houses, and rehabilitation facilities for this kid.
As a result of all of this, and at the end of the day, this 15-year-old committed suicide. Alberstone said, “That was a real-life story that happened to me.”.
In terms of illegal opioids, what do we know about them? According to Alberstone, everything is interconnected.
“As I argued to the judge in my testimony, this is no different from designer purses and designer watches, where counterfeits are available,” Alberstone said.
As a result, what happened was that these cartels would come in, they would counterfeit the blues, the oxycodones, to make them look exactly the same as a blue oxycodone, so they would have the same markings as the blue oxycodones.”
A settlement between Walgreens and the state for $500 million was reached – a record amount from a single defendant involved in an opioid case.
In order to undo the harm that the opioid epidemic is causing in the state, the money will now be used to make things better.
“It’s possible you won’t be able to stop, you know, the adult from doing what they’re doing” Alberstone told me. In order to ensure that the state can continue to prosper in the future, what you can do is put them back on a better path.”
As far as Walgreens is concerned, they have not admitted to any wrongdoing. A total of $774 million has been settled by the other pharmacies, including CVS, Albertsons, Kroger, and Walmart, bringing the total amount of settlement money from all pharmacies to $774 million as a result of the drug settlement.
In a statement, the AG’s office said that over the course of the next 15 years the money will be distributed between the local and state governments.