Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says her new lawsuit against Walgreens is part of a continuing mission of accountability for the opioid crisis, and she says her experience as the state’s top legal officer makes her more qualified to be the next governor of Arkansas.
In a mid-week Talk Business & Politics interview, Rutledge claimed Walgreens should have done more to curtail the prescription of opioids. By not doing so, the national pharmacy chain has contributed to the black market for the extremely addictive drugs.
Walgreens has denied the allegations and said it plans to “vigorously defend” itself in the lawsuit.
“Walgreens has a responsibility under the law already to determine whether or not there are suspicious orders, to flag those suspicious orders to the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration]. Unfortunately, this has not happened,” Rutledge said.
“We’ve already filed lawsuits against the drug manufacturers for creating these opioids and not properly educating doctors and others about the dangerous and addictive nature of them. We’ve already sued the other distributors,” she said. “This is just one more piece to hold a company accountable for their lack of adhering to the law as is.”
Rutledge is a candidate for Arkansas governor in 2022. She is term-limited in her current role and is being challenged in the Republican primary by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Trump White House press secretary and the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Rutledge said her experience as AG makes her the superior candidate against Huckabee Sanders.
“This race is not about expensive parties and eating escargot. This race is about taking care of Arkansas and who has the experience to lead this state,” Rutledge said. “When you’re flying on a plane, do you want the pilot or the flight attendant to land the plane? You want the pilot to land the plane. And I am the only one in this race who has the experience making decisions on behalf of three plus million Arkansans every single day.”
“When I’m out, whether it’s visiting with the cattlemen, law enforcement officers, moms and dads, this is what they tell me: ‘Leslie, we like your opponent but we love your experience and we love your leadership.’ That’s what it takes because it’s going to take Arkansas grit to make sure that we make Arkansas first,” she added.
You can watch Rutledge’s full interview in the video below. It starts around the 5-minute mark.