NewsPinellas County


Florida sues Walgreens and CVS over opioid crisis

Local dads hope it saves families from tragedy
Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 18:07:00-05

Florida’s state attorney is filing a lawsuit against Walgreens and CVS, claiming the pharmacies fed into our state’s opioid epidemic.

Greg Korabek and Mark Serra know the heartbreak opioids can cause. The Palm Harbor and Clearwater dads are both gearing up for another holiday season without their sons. 

Landon Korabek died after swallowing a handful of pills taken from a friend’s home. “It was way too easy for kids to get their hands on this stuff and I think they looked at it like it was a game,” Korabek explained.

Mark Serra's son Matt got hooked on opioids after a back injury. "We watched our son dissolve in front of our eyes," Serra added.

Both dads are now fighting for change by speaking with thousands of teens about the dangers of prescription drugs. 

Florida leaders are now accusing the nation’s two biggest pharmacies of overselling painkillers and not taking precautions to stop suspicious orders. 

The lawsuit points specifically at the crisis here in Tampa Bay, where someone dies every 43 hours from an opioid overdose.

According to the lawsuit in Hudson, a town of just 34,000 people, pharmacies sold 2.2 million opioid pills in a single year. That's enough to give every person in Hudson a 2-month supply. 

Korabek hopes the lawsuit saves another family from endless grief.

“Hopefully this will wake some people up a little bit. That you can’t have this stuff flowing on the streets. I hope it saves some lives," he explained.

CVS issued a statement saying the lawsuit is “without merit," adding that they comply with all federal and state laws and have policies to prevent abuse.

Walgreens says they do not comment on pending lawsuits.