Walgreens and CVS are criticized for selling this drug to buyers

Walgreens and CVS are two of the biggest names in drugs, supplying millions of shoppers across the United States with prescription pills and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. But despite the relief these two big drugstore chains have brought to customers, they don’t always get it right with the customers they serve. In fact, Walgreens and CVS have just been named in a new lawsuit regarding one of the drugs they sell. Read on to find out why the two companies are now under fire.

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Walgreens and CVS are no strangers to criticism. In January 2022, the two pharmacy chains faced a number of complaints after being forced to close some of their pharmacies over the weekend due to a lack of staff. Many customers say they weren’t properly informed of the abrupt closures and instead arrived unexpectedly at closed drive-thru and pharmacy counters.

Separately, Walgreens came under fire in March after shoppers expressed frustration over the retailer’s replacement of clear glass doors in the fridge and freezer section with new animated digital displays. And CVS took its own hit last month over its store-brand alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with a consumer suing over claims that its labeling “kills 99.9% of germs” is inaccurate.

Mid section of a customer standing at the cash desk in a pharmacy
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Now Walgreens and CVS are both under fire for the same reason. A a consumer lawsuit has been filed in the Western District of Missouri against the two drugstore chains on June 1 for one of the drugs they sell, Law Street first reported. The applicant filed the complaint on behalf of himself and his minor son, alleging that Walgreens and CVS failed to warn of the risks of prenatal exposure to the drug paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP), particularly in this concerning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children. In the United States, paracetamol includes popular brand name drugs such as Tylenol, Mapap or Pandaol.

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Pregnant woman taking the pill at home
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In 2019, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in JAMA Psychiatry indicates that “exposure to acetaminophen in the womb“may increase the risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ASD in children. A separate study published in May 2021 in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that children who were exposed before birth to paracetamol were 19% more likely to be diagnosed with ASD and 21% more likely to have ADHD symptoms compared to children not exposed to this drug.

Variety of cold, cough and flu medicines on the shelves of Walgreens
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The plaintiff suing Walgreens and CVS claims that pregnant women often choose to take paracetamol because the two drugstore chains “have marketed APAP as a safe pain reliever for pregnant women.” But according to the lawsuit, this marketing is misleading because Walgreens and CVS “knew or should have known that prenatal use of APAP can cause ASD or ADHD.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff chose to take APAP medication throughout her pregnancy to help her with arthritis. She said she thought it was safe to do so because there were no warning labels or company alerts about the potential risks associated with prenatal use of this drug. But when her child was 22 months old, the complainant said she was diagnosed with ASD.

Plaintiff alleges that Walgreens and CVS “completely failed in their duty to adequately warn of the dangers of prenatal exposure to APAP, which was a direct and immediate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries and associated damages” .

READ NEXT: Walmart and Walgreens come under fire for selling this to shoppers.

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