Costco to Pay Settlement for Improperly Filled Opioid Prescriptions

Costco to Pay Settlement for Improperly Filled Opioid Prescriptions

Costco to Pay Settlement for Improperly Filled Opioid Prescriptions

Allegations that Costco had improperly filled prescriptions for opioids have led to a settlement payment of $11.75 million, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The U.S. Justice Department provided a news release which included the accusations leveled against the company, which included a lack of the identification numbers required for prescriptions by the Drug Enforcement Administration, a failure to maintain or keep records required for controlled substances, and in some cases, filled prescriptions for opioids that were lacked the complete information necessary.

The settlement agreement reveals that the pharmacies involved in the illegal activity were located in Michigan, Washington, and California.

By the terms of the settlement, Costco was required to admit that some of its pharmacies bore the responsibility for violating the Controlled Substances Act. The terms of the Controlled Substances Act that were violated included incorrect reporting of the DEA number of practitioners, the filling of prescriptions for individuals who did not provide an accurate DEA number, filling of prescriptions that lacked all the information required for such a prescription, filling prescriptions that were outside of a prescriber’s scope of prescription, a failure to properly file records associated with prescriptions, and a failure to properly record information at their primary fill locations.

The United States Attorney for Washington’s Western District, Annette Hayes, emphasized how important pharmacies are in the ongoing battle against opioid addiction in this country. Furthermore, she highlighted how a company like Costco, which is responsible for many different pharmacy locations across the country, bears even more of the responsibility.

And the United States Attorney for California’s Central District, Eileen Decker, underscored that the violations Costco pharmacies engaged in were not superficial, but represented a deeply problematic violation of federal requirements. The violations Costco engaged in, Decker emphasized, are the type that can help bolster the black market.

In a statement released by Costco, the company made it clear that it had fully complied with the investigation conducted by the DEA. The statement also made it clear that Costco recognized why these record-requiring regulations were required, and indicated that the company had already begun updating its internal record-keeping in advance of the DEA’s investigation.

Among the improvements to Costco’s pharmacies are a pharmacy management system estimated to exceed one hundred twenty five million dollars in order to implement. The company also plans to integrate addiction technology to help flag potential abuse of the controlled substances being dispensed by the company’s pharmacies. Finally, in order to protect against a similar situation occurring in the future, the company plans to introduce a three-tiered audit that will aim to target and eradicate any potential substance abuse.

While Costco has stated that these strategies will help protect against substance abuse, they have also released a statement underscoring their willingness to comply with the orders put forward by the DEA.

If you’re struggling with substance abuse, one of the drug rehab centers in the Intervention Association network can get you the tools you need to reach recovery. Contact us today!

Posted in Blog

Will Insurance cover rehab?

Close Bitnami banner