Lawyers for pharmacy chains including CVS and Walgreens on November 15 argued they were not to blame for the U.S. opioid epidemic, as jurors prepared to consider whether to hold them responsible for the devastation the drug crisis caused in two Ohio counties.

A trial pitting Washington state against McKesson Corp. and two other drug distributors accused of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic was slated to kick off on November 15, after the state’s attorney general declined to join a $26 billion nationwide settlement.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned the landmark $465 million opioid verdict handed down against Johnson & Johnson in 2019.

A California judge on Nov. 1 said he would rule against several large counties that accused four drugmakers of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic, saying they failed during a trial to prove their $50 billion case.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 cleared the way for New York to collect a $200 million surcharge imposed on opioid manufacturers and distributors to defray the state’s costs arising from the deadly epidemic involving the powerful painkilling drugs.

Drugmaker Endo International Plc agreed to pay $50 million to resolve lawsuits by New York and two of the state’s largest counties related to the sale and marketing of opioids.

A U.S. judge said on Sept. 1 he would approve OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, clearing a path to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits and shielding the company’s wealthy Sackler family owners from future opioid litigation.

With a $26 billion nationwide settlement in sight over claims that the three largest U.S. drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson helped fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic, state and local governments will soon turn their attention to pharmacies and a handful of drugmakers.

New York took Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and other companies – including the largest drug distributors in the United States – to trial on June 29, seeking to hold them liable for fueling an opioid crisis that has caused nearly half a million U.S. deaths over a decade.

Massachusetts sued a unit of French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA on May 6, accusing it of fueling the U.S. opioid crisis by using unfair and deceptive marketing to help drugmaker Purdue Pharma sell more OxyContin.