Walgreen to Pay $80 Million to Settle Federal Allegations Over Painkiller Distribution

Pharmacy chain Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice have reached a settlement agreement over civil charges that the company had practiced improper distribution of prescription painkillers, the company announced yesterday.

The agreement includes Walgreen's paying $80 million and requires it to to surrender its DEA registrations at six of its more than 800 Florida pharmacies until May 2014 and at a Florida distribution center until September 2014.

The company had allegedly made violations in the record-keeping and dispensing of several controlled substances. Said violations were discovered through investigations of the company's distribution center in Jupiter, Fla., and six additional retail pharmacies in Florida. Walgreen has agreed to pay $80 million in the settlement, and expects the impact to be approximately $0.04 to $0.06 per share during its next quarter.

Kermit Crawford, Walgreen's president of pharmacy, health and wellness, said in a statement that the company has already made great strides in preventing abuse of prescription drugs. "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."

Authorities said the Jupiter center failed to flag suspicious orders of drugs it received from pharmacies, and the retail outlets routinely filled prescriptions that clearly were not for a legitimate medical use. The upshot was many more doses of prescription drugs were available illegally on the street. The drugs included oxycodone, hydrocodone, and Xanax.

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the Walgreen civil penalty was the largest in the history of the Controlled Substances Act. The settlement also resolves similar allegations against Walgreens retail pharmacies in Colorado, Michigan and New York, Ferrer said. No criminal charges have been filed.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

link


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2486025, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/18/2014 8:43:36 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement