“IN THE SHADOW of their own profound failures, DoJ and DEA now seek to retroactively impose … requirements that are not found in any law.” Unusually strong words to hurl at America’s Department of Justice and its Drug Enforcement Administration. They come from an uncommon claim submitted by Walmart on October 22 nd. It is a pre-emptive strike against the Feds, who are preparing to hammer the giant merchant for allegedly fuelling the opioid crisis.
Last year a judge in Oklahoma ruled that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) had developed a “public annoyance” by contributing to opioid abuse and purchased it to pay some $500 m; J&J is appealing the decision. The business likewise stands accused of wrongdoing, along with other companies, in suits submitted in federal courts by thousands of regional federal governments.
For the world’s largest drug company, with annual earnings of $56 bn, such a hit would be a publicity nightmare however economically workable. For smaller sized fry, lawsuits can show deadly. On October 12 th Mallinckrodt, a huge purveyor of generic opioids, agreed to pay $1.6 bn in a settlement as it filed for …