Rite Aid pays $5M to resolve Controlled Substances Act violations

Chain store giant Rite Aid Corp. and nine of its subsidiaries in eight states have agreed to pay $5 million to settle charges that the company violated provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Starting in 2004, officials with the DEA began investigating 53 Rite Aid locations. Agents allegedly found a pattern of CSA violations, including pharmacies in Kentucky and New York that knowingly filled prescriptions for controlled substances that weren't issued for a legitimate purpose within a valid physician-patient relationship. DEA officials also claimed that at 53 pharmacies in eight states, the drugstore chain failed to execute DEA forms properly that ensure the amounts of Schedule II drugs ordered were actually received. Worse, at 25 of the 53 stores investigated, there were meaningful shortages or surpluses of highly abused drugs like oxycodone.

To settle the charges, Rite Aid is taking several steps to prove that it's in compliance with the CSA, and with DEA regulations. These include implementing a pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products, both used to make methamphetamine. Rite Aid will also audit each pharmacy to make sure controlled substances are secured. In addition, it will design and implement a system linking all sales transactions involving pseudoephedrine or ephedrine for each of its 4,915 retail locations.

To learn more about the settlement:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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