(Adds background, details from the statement)
Oct 22 (Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Thursday it
had filed a lawsuit against the federal government, seeking
clarity on the roles and legal responsibilities of pharmacists
and pharmacies in filling opioid prescriptions.
Walmart said certain officials in the U.S. Justice
Department are threatening to sue the retail giant, claiming
pharmacists should have refused to fill otherwise valid opioid
“We are bringing this lawsuit because there is no federal
law requiring pharmacists to interfere in the doctor-patient
relationship to the degree DOJ is demanding,” Walmart, which
runs one of the largest pharmacy chains in the country, said in
a statement https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2020/10/22/walmart-sues-doj-and-dea-seeking-clarity-for-pharmacists-in-dispensing-prescription-opioids.
Walmart in the lawsuit against the DOJ and the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) said the federal authorities
are seeking civil penalties related to its alleged failure to
submit suspicious order reports and added that this potential
move would be “unprecedented.”
The DOJ and the DEA did not immediately respond to a request
On Wednesday, a West Virginia court ruled that Walmart must
turn over information about federal and state investigations
into its opioid-related practices to hospitals suing the company
for allegedly contributing to the epidemic. https://reut.rs/37vZNim
Opioid addiction has claimed roughly 400,000 lives in the
United States from 1999 to 2017, according to the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
Critics of the industry said opioid makers hid the addiction
and abuse risks of prolonged use from consumers.
(Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)
((C.Nivedita@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @NivCholayil;))
Keywords: WALMART LAWSUIT/DOJ (UPDATE 1)
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