U.S. sues Walmart, accusing it of fueling opioid crisis

The Justice Department sued the retail giant Walmart on Tuesday, accusing it of fueling the country’s opioid crisis by inadequately screening thousands of dubious prescriptions and ignoring repeated warnings from its own pharmacists.

Walmart “knowingly violated well established rules requiring it to scrutinize controlled-substance prescriptions to ensure that they were valid” and required “pharmacists to process a high volume of prescriptions as fast as possible,” the suit alleges.

The retailer’s own compliance unit “collected voluminous information indicating that Walmart was routinely being asked to fill invalid controlled-substance prescriptions,” but “that unit for years withheld that information from pharmacists and allowed them to continue dispensing opioids based on invalid prescriptions,” the suit says.

NBC U.S. sues Walmart, accusing it of fueling opioid crisis