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Dec. 22, 2020 – “As one of the largest pharmacy chains and wholesale drug distributors in the country, Walmart had the responsibility and the means to help prevent the diversion of prescription opioids,” Jeffrey Bossert Clark, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil division, said in a statement. “Instead, for years, it did the opposite — filling thousands of invalid prescriptions at its pharmacies and failing to report suspicious orders of opioids and other drugs placed by those pharmacies.”

The lawsuit is a significant escalation in the government’s effort to hold major pharmacy chains responsible for their role in the opioid crisis. While much of the litigation around opioid addiction has focused on doctors and distributors, a lawsuit filed in federal court in May by two Ohio counties accused CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid of also fueling the problem. The retailers were accused of selling millions of pills in tiny communities, rewarding pharmacists with the highest volumes and promoting opioids as safe and effective.



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