The pharmacy chain agreed to pay $535,000 to settle allegations the stores violated the federal Controlled Substances Act by filling 39 prescriptions for Percocet, a Schedule II narcotic, that its pharmacists had reason to know were forged, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island said in a statement.
The settlement puts an end to an investigation by the the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of Diversion Control into allegations CVS’ Rhode Island pharmacies filled prescriptions for controlled substances with high potential for abuse.
“This settlement demonstrates that the Department of Justice remains committed to using all the legal tools at its disposal to ensure that everyone in the chain of controlled substance distribution — from physicians to pharmacists — abides by strict requirements of the law,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron Weisman said.
In addition to paying the civil penalty, CVS acknowledged its pharmacists bear a “corresponding responsibility” to ensure the prescription is valid and legal under the Controlled Substances Act, but denied any wrongdoing in the case.
“DEA registrants like CVS have a corresponding responsibility to dispense controlled substances in accordance with the Controlled Substance Act,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle said. “Pharmacies put patients at risk when they dispense Schedule II narcotics, which have the highest potential for abuse, without a valid and legal prescription.”