Walmart Inc. filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration Thursday asking the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to “clarify the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacies under the Controlled Substances Act.”
The had DOJ threatened to sue Walmart, claiming that its pharmacists should have refused to fill certain opioid prescriptions. Walmart asserted in response that the prescriptions were valid and prescribed by legitimate doctors.
In its preemptive action, Walmart states that its pharmacists have already refused to fill “hundreds of thousands” of questionable opioid prescriptions. The company further claims that its pharmacists “frequently assist law enforcement in bringing bad doctors to justice.”
Walmart also insists that the DOJ desires a level of interference in the doctor-patient relationship that is typically not permitted by state health agencies, nor is it required by federal law. Additionally, it claims that the DOJ’s demands could harm patients with “legitimate medical needs.”