Death for sale on aisle 5 –  

Jan. 3, 2021- When Ashwani Sheoran showed up for early morning shifts at pharmacies in rural Michigan wearing his white Walmart smock, he often found customers waiting, desperate for bottles of pain pills.

“I see my patients, 15 to 20, already lined up to get prescriptions filled for morphine sulfate, oxycodone and other straight narcotics,” he said.

This was in 2012 when the prescription opioid epidemic was exploding, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Sheoran, now 41, told NPR he kept seeing what the Drug Enforcement Administration considers “red flags.” Patients were driving long distances to buy their pills from Walmart. They couldn’t explain why they needed such powerful opioid doses.

He started raising alarms, sending emails to his bosses in Michigan and to Walmart headquarters in Arkansas. He warned that their pharmacies were feeding a black market for opioids like Oxycontin.

What happened next made him angry. “They start putting more pressure on me to just be quiet and not to say anything more,” Sheoran said.

“They told me, ‘Do not reach out to the DEA, do not call the police. If you do so, your employment is going to be terminated immediately,’ “ Sheoran said, describing a warning he said was issued by his supervisor.

more@NPR

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