The mega-chain operates 5,000 pharmacies nationwide.
As if 2020 couldn't get any stranger, it's being reported that Walmart is facing a lawsuit by the Justice Department. The mega-retail and grocery chain is accused of not adequately screening prescriptions, thus aiding in America's increasing opioid crisis. Multiple reports state many Walmart pharmacists attempted to warn company bosses, but their complaints were either reportedly ignored or not taken seriously.
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The Department of Justice claims that Walmart, which operates 5,000 pharmacies nationwide, "knowingly violated" rules that specify exactly how "controlled-substance prescriptions" are supposed to be fulfilled. Their alleged goal was for "pharmacists to process a high volume of prescriptions" as quickly as they could. “Walmart profited by providing its pharmacies with unusually large quantities of controlled substances to sell, and from selling other products to customers who came to Walmart stores only because Walmart pharmacies would readily provide these controlled substances,” reads the federal complaint.
"Walmart’s pharmacies violated the law by filling thousands of prescriptions for controlled substances that Walmart’s pharmacists knew were invalid,” said acting assistant attorney general of the civil division of the Department of Justice Jeffrey Bossert Clark. “Walmart filled invalid controlled substance prescriptions by the thousands, even when it knew the prescriptions were invalid. And as a wholesale distributor for its own pharmacies, Walmart systematically violated its legal obligation to detect suspicious orders of controlled substances.”
It's also reported that many doctors would direct their patients to fulfill prescriptions at Walmart because they wouldn't be accepted anywhere else. In turn, patients were using prescription drugs to turn a profit on the streets. Walmart responded to the allegations and said they've "empowered" their pharmacists to "refuse to fill problematic opioids prescriptions." The company also reportedly stated that they are working with authorities and have sent leads to the Drug Enforcement Administration.