Pharmacies at area Kroger, Harris Teeter settle claims regarding invalid prescriptions
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two Charlottesville-area pharmacies are settling civil claims that they violated the federal Controlled Substances Act.
According to a release, a Kroger Pharmacy and a Harris Teeter Pharmacy have agreed to pay a combined total of $1.3 million to settle the civil claims.
“We have seen a record number of Americans lose their lives in recent years as a result of opioid poisoning,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh. “This epidemic remains ongoing, and we know that many individuals struggling with addiction are obtaining opioids and other addictive drugs from pharmacies who choose to look the other way. My office continues to work with the DEA and others to hold accountable any pharmacy or doctor who illegally prescribes these highly-addictive and dangerous drugs.”
The pharmacies were accused of filling more than 160 illegal prescriptions, including opioids.
“Health care providers, including pharmacies, have a vital responsibility when it comes to dispensing medications to meet the health needs of their patients. Our goal is to ensure that health care providers are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to deliver high-quality care to their patients, while also preventing the diversion and misuse of prescription drugs for the safety and well-being of our citizens,” said Jarod A. Forget, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Washington Division.
The release says the United States contends the pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act between February 2018 and April 2021 by filling invalid prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines.
These prescriptions were reportedly written by a physician acting outside the scope of his medical practice.
The Department of Justice says the pharmacists at the locations should have known that the prescriptions were invalid and refused to fill them.
The release says the claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
It does not specify which stores may have been involved.