U.S. sues Rite Aid for missing opioid red flags

WASHINGTON — The U.S. authorities on Monday sued Ceremony Help Corp, accusing the pharmacy chain of lacking “purple flags” because it illegally stuffed lots of of 1000’s of prescriptions for managed substances, together with opioids.

In a complaint filed in Cleveland federal court, the Division of Justice stated Ceremony Help repeatedly stuffed prescriptions from Could 2014 to June 2019 that had been medically pointless, for off-label use, or not issued within the typical course {of professional} observe.

“The Justice Division is utilizing each software at our disposal to confront the opioid epidemic that’s killing People and shattering communities throughout the nation,” Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland stated in a press release.

Ceremony Help pharmacists had been accused of ignoring apparent indicators of misuse, together with in prescriptions for “trinities,” a mix of opioids, benzodiazepine, and muscle relaxants most popular by drug abusers for his or her elevated euphoric impact.

The Justice Division additionally stated Ceremony Help deliberately deleted some pharmacists’ inside warnings about suspicious prescribers, equivalent to “money solely tablet mill???”, whereas admonishing them to “be aware of all the pieces that’s put in writing.”

“These practices opened the floodgates for tens of millions of opioid drugs and different managed substances to circulate illegally out of Ceremony Help’s shops,” Affiliate Lawyer Basic Vanita Gupta stated.

Ceremony Help is among the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, with greater than 2,330 shops in 17 U.S. states. It didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The Justice Division accused Ceremony Help of violating the federal False Claims Act by submitting false prescription claims to authorities healthcare applications equivalent to Medicare and Medicaid.

It joined a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2019 by two pharmacists and a pharmacy technician from Ceremony Help shops in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The Justice Division often joins whistleblower circumstances it considers stronger.

It has additionally sued Walmart Inc and drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp over their alleged roles within the nation’s opioid disaster.

Greater than 500,000 individuals died from drug overdoses in the US from 1999 to 2020, together with greater than 90,000 in 2020 alone, in line with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *