Should Walmart Be Held Responsible for Its Role in the Opioid Epidemic?


In October 2020, Walmart filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, hoping to deter an imminent lawsuit from the Department of Justice that is expected to hold Walmart and its pharmacists accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths. This case briefly goes over the details of the lawsuit and asks students to evaluate Walmart’s attempt to dispute the obligations of pharmacists to distribute or refuse certain medications.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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