For two years, a group of federal prosecutors and agents in Texas had been investigating the opioid dispensing practices of Walmart. The prosecution team was led by Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, with the help of over-20-year veteran Heather Rattan. The evidence found by the group was that Walmart pharmacies in Texas dispensed opioids that killed customers due to overdose. The pharmacists who dispensed the opioids told Walmart’s corporate office they did not want to fill the prescriptions due to the fact that they were coming from doctors who ran pill mills.
Upon further investigation, records of similar pleads for help were found in Walmarts across the country in several states. This includes Maine, North Carolina, Kansas, Washington, and more. Pharmacists reported hundreds of thousands of suspicious or inappropriate prescriptions for opioids. Walmart compliance officials did not take corporate-wide action to stop this flow of opioids in response to the reports. Instead, they continued to tell pharmacists that they could not cut off doctors and could only evaluate prescriptions on a case-by-case basis. An opioid compliance manager told an executive via email that Walmart’s focus should be “driving sales.”
Rattan informed Walmart she would be preparing to indict them for violating the Controlled Substances At. However, before the case could be filed, Walmart brought the concerns to the Department of Justice (DOJ) who intervened in the case. This resulted in Brown being ordered to stand down and the DOJ declined to prosecute the company.
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The opioid crisis in the United States is a serious problem. If you have been impacted by Walmart’s opioid dispensing practices, it is important that you are heard. Brock & Goetzmann Attorneys at Law are here to help. Contact our firm today to see if you have a case.
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