Aug. 25, 2023 – In the early 2000s, fatal overdoses from prescription drugs, particularly opioids, skyrocketed, with popular painkillers like OxyContin at the center of the problem, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This epidemic soon became known as the opioid crisis, and it subsequently became apparent that pharmaceutical companies were aggressively marketing the drugs and lying about their addictive qualities and harmful effects, according to the conclusions of multiple government agencies and courts. In March, the Department of Justice accused Rite Aid and other pharmacies of playing a role in the crisis by oversupplying the highly-lucrative drugs. The department alleges that Rite Aid filled hundreds of thousands of prescriptions that did not meet legal requirements and gave away these dangerous drugs to patients “with obvious red flags.” Specifically, the department accused the company of deleting internal notes from pharmacists about suspicious prescribers, including notes that said “cash only pill mill???,” “writing excessive dose[s] for oxycodone” and “DO NOT FILL CONTROLS,” according to the Guardian. Additionally, there are more than a thousand federal lawsuits related to the opioid crisis against Rite Aid that have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in federal court in Ohio, in addition to a number of state-level lawsuits. Walgreens and CVS have also faced similar lawsuits.