One of my favorite go to sites, Propublica, has a bombshell new report out. On a Tuesday just before Halloween in 2018 a delegation of senior officials from Texas, including the US Attorney for the eastern district of Texas paid a little call on acting DEA head Uttam Dhillon. It seems that they had a little Walmart problem where the dispensing of opioids was concerned. The first thing that they did was to lay their cards on the table. It was voluminous, and damning. They started out with reports and concerns from various Walmart pharmacists themselves; There Rattan laid out the evidence. Opioids dispensed by Walmart pharmacies in Texas had killed customers who had overdosed. The pharmacists who dispensed those opioids had told the company they didn’t want to fill the prescriptions because they were coming from doctors who were running pill mills. They pleaded for help and guidance from Walmart’s corporate office. Walmart pharmacists in Texas were flat out advising the corporate offices that they either suspected, or knew that large numbers of prescriptions they were filling were coming from questionable sources, and asking permission to decline to gill. And it wasn’t just in Texas either. The company was getting requests for guidance from states like Kansas, Maine, North Carolina and Washington as well as other states. Tactics and proof was provided in the complaints; One Walmart employee warned about a Florida doctor who had a “list of patients from Kentucky that have been visiting pharmacies in all of central Wisconsin recently.” That doctor had sent patients to Walmarts in more than 30 other states. The response from Walmart’s corporate compliance office was as predictable as the sunset. Pharmacists were forbidden to blanket refuse to fill prescriptions from any single doctor, and were told to consider individual prescriptions on a case-by-vase basis. In an internal Walmart memo obtained by prosecutors, the compliance office said that when considering opioid matters, focus should be on driving profits. According to people who were in the room, when the prosecutors completed their presentation, Dhillon leaned back in his chair, and breathed out. Jesus Christ! Why aren’t we talking about this as a criminal complaint? And therein lay the rub. Several months earlier, Rattan had informed Walmart that they were preparing to indict the company on multiple charges of violating the Controlled Substances Act. Walmart’s response there was just as predictable as the sunrise the next morning. Rather than try to explain themselves, or mount a defense, they immediately appealed to Trump’s Department of Justice in Washington DC, with what should be just as predictable of a result; Before the Texas prosecutors could file their case, however, Walmart escalated concerns to high-ranking officials at the DOJ, who then intervened. Brown was ordered to stand down. On Aug. 31, 2018, Trump officials officially informed Walmart that the DOJ would decline to prosecute the company, according to a letter from Walmart’s lawyer that lays out the chronology of the case. That’s why the Texas federal prosecutors were in Washington in the first damn place, trying desperately to resuscitate their criminal case. After the preliminary positive response from the DEA, their next stop was a conference room at Main Justice. and the indomitable Rod Rosenstein. Once again they laid out their case in meticulous detail, and assured Rosenstein that this was not a “show […]
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Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.