File Photo – McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally | Photo: John Starks / Daily Herald (Pool)

The McHenry County state’s attorney has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, for their “alarming” over-prescription of opioids.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County last Monday against CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Meijer and Albertsons.

The complaint alleges that the pharmaceutical companies provided opioid painkillers in an “alarming number” with limited or no scrutiny as to the quantity of opioid painkillers being prescribed.

The complaint is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the “enormous amount of money” McHenry County has spent and continues to spend combating opioid-related misuse and abuse, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

The suit also seeks to provide compensation and a pool of money to municipalities, private organizations and McHenry County to continue addressing the opioid epidemic.

17 other counties are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

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“One of my principal responsibilities as the McHenry County State’s Attorney is to hold accountable those persons or entities whose conduct causes others to suffer. This lawsuit is a continuing attempt to do just that,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said.

Nearly 350 residents have died in McHenry County since 2016 as a result of opioids, according to the state’s attorney.

“Apart from the immense toll on human life and the misery endured by survivors, this crisis continues to financially strain the services the County provides to its residents and employees,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges that the large chain pharmacies oversupplied opioids into McHenry County and failed to monitor and restrict the improper sale and distribution of opioids.

“This case arises from the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history: an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death caused by Defendants’ flooding the United States, including Plaintiffs’ communities, with prescription opioids,” the lawsuit said.

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According to the state’s attorney’s office, Illinois had a population of approximately 13 million people in 2010.

From 2006 until 2014, Illinois received 3,112,236,443 doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone, which amounts to 242 doses for every single person, children included, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Kenneally filed a similar lawsuit in 2017 against pharmaceutical companies that he accused of deceptively marketing opioid prescription drugs and misrepresenting the drugs’ addictive qualities.

That lawsuit was settled earlier this year and the county is due to receive $3.41 million to assist victims, families and agencies in the opioid crisis.