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Walmart Seeks Redress in Court to Clarify Involvement in Opioid Crisis

Walmart Seeks Redress in Court to Clarify Involvement in Opioid Crisis

Walmart has proceeded to the court to clarify its involvement in the Opioid Crisis. The multinational retail corporation has responded to the Department of Justice’s statement of a possible lawsuit that would be filed against it for its alleged role in the opioid crisis. The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice have made statements that a lawsuit will be filed against Walmart and its pharmacists for their involvement.

Walmart’s lawsuit in a US District Court in Eastern Texas is a new addition to the long list of courtroom battles over the company’s involved in the opioid crisis that has led to the death of almost 1 million Americans in recent years. Walmart has over 5,000 pharmacies in its stores across the United States. The company has denied any involvement in the crisis, stating that they are instead helping to fight the war against opioid overdose.

“Walmart and our pharmacists are committed to helping address the opioid crisis that has affected so many,” Walmart stated.

The giant retail store stated that some officials of the DOJ are more concerned with sensational headlines than fixing the crisis. For this reason, DOJ officials have threatened to file a lawsuit naming Walmart as a contributor to the crisis. The statement went further to explain that the DOJ is naming Walmart for selling opioids to people with valid prescriptions from doctors.

The retailer is asking the court to ‘resolve a dispute’ by interpreting the stipulations of the Controlled Substances Act regarding the roles of pharmacists. The Act controls the possession, use, and distribution of some medicines and other substances, CNN reports.

Walmart added that according to the Act, a pharmacist would risk losing his license if he fails to fill a prescription validated by a DEA-licensed doctor. The retailer asserted that their pharmacists were mandated by law to fill such prescriptions even when they think it is unnecessary since they had no knowledge of the patient and were not licensed, doctors.

Despite this, the suit states, Walmart rejected hundreds of thousands of opioid prescriptions that raised concerns and blocked doctors whose prescriptions continued to raise such concerns.

As a result, the complaint states, Walmart and its pharmacists have been and are still being sued and investigated for disturbing the medical procedure. The complaint continues that it is quite surprising that the DOJ is threatening to sue Walmart now for not doing more to disturb the medical procedure. Walmart also points out in the complaint that there are court documents that can back its claims.

Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Texas started investigating Walmarts’ pharmacies in 2016 and pledged to sue the company in 2018 but the DOJ dropped the case after Walmart filed complaints about the lawsuit. The complaint also states that the DEA should be saddled with the responsibility of evaluating doctors, instead of pushing the responsibility on pharmacists and retailers such as Walmart.

Walmart, according to documents filed with the district court, has requested that the court make declarations about the stipulations of the Controlled Substances Act, especially the part where it states that pharmacies are not permitted by law to question a licensed doctor’s prescriptions or write out reasons why a prescription is needed.


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