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Attorney General Coleman sues Kroger regarding opioid crisis

From the Attorney General's Office
Kentucky has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, and the consequences have caused suffering and grief for many families.

Attorney General Russell Coleman announced today the filing of a lawsuit against the Kroger Company for its role in the devastating drug crisis in Kentucky, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s office.

Between 2006-19, Kroger and its more than 100 pharmacies in the commonwealth were responsible for more than 11% of all opioid pills dispensed in Kentucky, totaling hundreds of millions of doses flooding into communities without any reasonable safeguards.

The lawsuit, filed in Bullitt County Circuit Court, alleges Kroger:

  • Bought more than four billion morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) of opioids for Kentucky between 2006-19. That’s roughly equivalent to 444 million opioid doses;
  • Distributed almost 194 million hydrocodone pills to its Kentucky pharmacies between 2006-19; and
  • Failed to implement any effective monitoring program to stop suspicious opioid orders.

“For more than a decade, Kroger flooded Kentucky with an almost unthinkable number of opioid pills that directly led to addiction, pain and death,” Attorney General Coleman said. “Kroger, which families have trusted for so long, knowingly made these dangerous and highly addictive substances all too accessible. Worst of all, Kroger never created a formal system, a training or even a set of guidelines to report suspicious activity or abuse. The scourge of addiction that has plowed through graduating classes, work forces and entire families is the devastating result.”

Kentucky has long ranked among the highest overdose death rates in the country. In one year alone, more than 2,100 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses and poisonings.

Fighting the drug epidemic is a top priority for Attorney General Coleman. Earlier this month, General Coleman announced a nearly $7 million settlement with Publicis Health for the marketing agency’s role in the opioid crisis.

Read the entire complaint here.

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