Good morning, everyone. Damian Garde here, filling in for Ed Silverman one last time as 2020 draws to a close. We’re taking an extended break through the holidays, which means this newsletter won’t return to your inbox until Jan. 4. We hope you spend the intervening days safely indulging in whichever traditions you prefer, whether they involve stockings, Seamless, or simply not reading emails. In the meantime, here’s a smattering of items to get your day started. And as all aways, if you hear something particularly saucy, do let us know.
The U.S. Justice Department is suing Walmart (WMT) for an alleged role in the nationwide opioid crisis, the New York Times tells us. According to a 160-page civil complaint, Walmart knew its system for detecting suspicious prescriptions was faulty but did little to address the matter as its network of pharmacies filled millions of scripts for opioid painkillers. Walmart said the responsibility for vetting prescriptions falls on doctors, not pharmacies, and said the government was putting the company “between a rock and a hard place with state health regulators who say they are already going too far in refusing to fill opioid prescriptions.”