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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 12, 2015

Schnuck Markets Agree To Pay $65,000.00 Civil Penalty

Payment is Civil Settlement of Allegations of Improper Dispensing at Schnucks Pharmacies

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Schnuck Markets, Inc. (Schnucks) has paid the United States of America sixty-five thousand dollars ($65,000.00) as part of a voluntary agreement settling allegations that Schnucks violated the Controlled Substances Act.

The United States alleged that Schnucks pharmacies filled prescriptions written by unauthorized practitioners. In particular, the allegations include that the pharmacies filled prescriptions written by mid-level practitioners not authorized to prescribe certain controlled substances and by practitioners who previously surrendered their prescribing privileges.

"Pharmacies are the last line of defense in ensuring that prescription drugs do not fall into the wrong hands. The Controlled Substances Act requires careful scrutiny of each prescription before it is filled. That scrutiny falls squarely on the shoulders of the pharmacy which dispenses the drugs." noted United States Attorney Wigginton. "Abuse of prescription drugs is a nationwide epidemic, and my office will not hesitate to pursue all appropriate penalties, be those civil or criminal, against pharmacies and pharmacists who violate the law."

"I would note that to its credit, Schnucks was cooperative throughout this investigation and the resolution of this case. Schnucks has made significant changes in its pharmacy practices and besides the civil penalty paid, invested additional monies and resources in technology and training to reduce the chance that violations like these ever occur again," said United States Attorney Wigginton.

This matter was investigated by the Saint Louis and Chicago field offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam Hanna.

Updated June 12, 2015