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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Walgreens Settled DEA Suit for $80 Million

In an attempt to curb the ever growing prescription narcotic epidemic in the United States the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is going after pharmacies. The DEA alleged that Walgreen's violated federal rules with how they distributed prescription painkillers such as oxycodone. Yesterday, the pharmacy agreed to pay $80 million in civil penalties.

This is the largest settlement in DEA history, according to Reuters. The DEA claimed that Walgreens knowingly allowed drugs like oxycodone and other prescription painkillers to be diverted for abuse and black market sales.

“National pharmaceutical chains are not exempt from following the law,” Mark Trouville, special agent in charge in the DEA’s Miami Field Division, said in a statement. “All DEA registrants will be held accountable when they violate the law and threaten public health and safety.”

In Florida, six Walgreens pharmacies received suspicious drug shipments from the Jupiter Distribution Center, filling prescriptions that they knew, or should have known, were not for legitimate medical use, according to the DEA. The six pharmacies and the distribution center will be banned for two years from dispensing controlled substances.

Walgreen’s stated, “As part of the agreement with DEA and our continuing desire to work with DEA to combat prescription drug abuse, we have identified specific compliance measures – many of which Walgreens has already taken – to enhance our ordering processes and inventory systems, to provide our team members with the tools, training and support they need to ensure the appropriate dispensing of controlled substances and to improve collaboration across the industry.”
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