In October, Walmart sued the federal government preemptively, alleging that the U.S. government was seeking to scapegoat the retailer for the nation's opioid crisis – a crisis, Walmart said, that the government itself had failed to address effectively. Now, the federal government is suing Walmart, alleging that the retailer's pharmacies filled many thousands of invalid prescriptions. Walmart pushed back against the accusations, saying that the Justice Department was putting Walmart pharmacies and pharmacists "between a rock and a hard place" by insisting that they intervene in the doctor-patient relationship.
The government accused Walmart of violating the Controlled Substances Act. If found liable, it could face civil penalties of up to $67,627 for each unlawful prescription filled and $15,691 for each suspicious order not reported.