In a lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly sued Walmart of allegedly playing a key role in fueling the country’s opioid crisis. According to the lawsuit, the retail giant knowingly violated the vetting rules by filling hundreds of thousands of questionable prescriptions, added the prosecution.
Further allegations claim that Walmart had pressurized its staff into filling prescriptions at the earliest, while withholding the information that was collected from pharmacists by the company’s compliance unit. The act essentially indicated that such orders did not have justifiable medical purposes.
Walmart, while responding to these charges stated that the Justice Department is essentially demanding pharmacies second-guess doctors and pharmacists and is positioning them between a rock and a hard place with state health regulators who claim they have already proceeded too far in denying filling opioid prescriptions.
The retail giant has additionally stated that the lawsuit devises a legal theory which forces pharmacists to come in between patients and doctors unlawfully. The lawsuit is riddled with cherry-picked documents and factual inaccuracies that are taken out of context, added Walmart.
Meanwhile, prosecutors have also stated that Walmart has received substantial benefits from its actions, in turn avoiding the expense of developing proper compliance procedures and receiving considerable profits from the extra business.
According to Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, Walmart’s actions contributed to the outbreak of opioid abuse throughout the U.S. The company had the means and the responsibility of helping with the prevention of the diversion of prescription opioids, given that it is one of the largest wholesale drug distributors and pharmacy chains in the country, added Clark.
The Department of Justice is seeking financial penalties for the alleged misconduct, which is dated back to 2013. The government has further opined that the fines could be worth billions of dollars.
Source credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55418874