News from the Front Lines
At Walmart, we see and feel the impact of the opioid crisis in the communities we serve. We are working hard to help protect communities and fight this epidemic.
December 22, 2020
A Misguided Department of Justice Lawsuit Forces Pharmacists Between Patients and Their Doctors
Walmart is helping fight the opioid crisis. We are proud of our pharmacists, who help patients understand the risks about opioid prescriptions. And our pharmacists have refused to fill hundreds of thousands of opioid prescriptions they thought could be problematic.
On top of that, Walmart has blocked thousands of questionable doctors from having their opioid prescriptions filled by any of our pharmacists, as part of our good-faith efforts to help address the opioid crisis and to satisfy the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
As a result, many health regulators, medical groups, doctors and patients say that Walmart is going too far in refusing to fill opioid prescriptions—and even say we are improperly interfering in the doctor-patient relationship.
Which is a big reason a new lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and DEA against Walmart is so misguided and misleading.
There are a lot of problems with the lawsuit—as we will explain in court, it is wrong on the law and riddled with factual inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and cherry-picked documents taken out of context. And it is outrageous the Department is trying to shift blame for DEA’s own well-documented failures in policing the very doctors it gave permission to prescribe opioids.
December 11, 2020
Walmart helps bring “What Every Family Needs to Know About Opioids” special broadcast event and virtual town hall to Baltimore
Walmart joined forces with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and DEA 360 Strategy to sponsor “State of Addiction: What Every Family Needs to Know About Opioids,” a television special and live online discussion hosted by Baltimore’s WBAL-TV 11 on December 11. The program examined the opioid epidemic from a local perspective and focused on how the crisis impacts schools, families, law enforcement and health care systems in the Baltimore area.
Moderated by WBAL-TV co-anchors Mindy Basara and Jason Newton, the discussion featured several stakeholders who are working to address the opioid crisis: Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City Health Commissioner; Dr. Cindy T. Graham, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Brighter Hope Wellness Center; Rev. Richard A. Henderson, Project Director of South East Baltimore Drug Free Community Coalition; Orville O. Greene, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA Baltimore District Office; Michael S. Harrison, Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department; and James Wahlberg, Executive Director of The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. During a live virtual discussion following the television special, local experts answered questions from the viewing audience about recovery options in Maryland, signs of addiction and how to help those struggling with addiction.
More information and excerpts from the program can be viewed here.
December 11, 2020
APhA honors Walmart with the H.A.B Dunning Award for contributions to the practice of pharmacy
The American Pharmacists Association announced it is honoring Walmart with the 2021 H.A.B. Dunning Award to recognize the company’s exemplary contribution to the practice of pharmacy. Walmart was selected in part for its efforts to train its more than 18,000 pharmacists on substance use disorders, and pain and safe opioid management; and for supporting a free comprehensive opioid training program for all U.S. pharmacists and pharmacy technicians nationwide.
More information about the APhA’s 2021 awards and honorees is available here.
November 16, 2020
Walmart Supports Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy to Help Cultivate New Leaders in Fight Against Substance Use Disorder
Over the weekend of November 14, 30 college students from across the country gathered online to participate in a virtual leadership training as part of the Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy hosted by SAFE Project and supported by Walmart.
The goal of the Leadership Academy is to develop and cultivate future leaders from college campuses nationwide. The academic year-long fellowship is open to college students in recovery, as well as recovery allies, who are passionate about the intersection of collegiate recovery, leadership, and service to others.
Leadership Academy fellows are provided an opportunity to deepen their professional and personal development through mentorship from field experts and access to personalized educational trainings, including social justice and advocacy training. They build relationships with other student leaders while implementing collegiate recovery projects on their campuses.
The Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy was created in 2018, through SAFE Project’s Campuses initiative. This is the second program year Walmart has supported.
November 11, 2020
SAFE Project and Walmart Join Together to Support Military Veterans and their Families in Combatting Substance Dependence and Mental Health Challenges
As the nation honored all those who served in the United States military on Veterans Day, SAFE Project announced a new partnership with Walmart to support programs that aid military veterans and their families in dealing with substance dependence and mental health challenges.
“We are proud to support SAFE Project’s work to offer high-quality resources designed for and by veterans,” said Lisa Smith, Senior Director, Walmart Health & Wellness.
The Prevention and Wellness program targets veterans who have struggled with or are at risk of substance dependence or mental health challenges. The program will equip veterans with tools for reducing internal and external stigma for help-seeking, reducing the likelihood of substance dependence, increasing productivity, reducing stress, and improving mental well-being. Walmart’s funding support is allowing SAFE Project to conduct a pilot program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which will kick-off this month with a virtual focus group and will roll-out more broadly in the summer of 2021.
“We are excited to expand our work with Walmart to reach the veteran community. With their support, we have a great opportunity to ask veterans what they want from training and then build an evidence-based program to meet their specific needs,” said Bill Pinamont, Senior Director of SAFE Veterans.
Walmart is also providing funding to support SAFE Project’s Your Ruck program for active duty and veteran spouses and family members. The one-day group training sessions use a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approach to identify and address risk and protective factors in the life of a military spouse and includes building awareness of adversity, trauma, addiction, and the dangers of some prescription drugs.