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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A Kroger Pharmacy and a Harris Teeter Pharmacy in Charlottesville, Virginia have both agreed to pay the United States a combined total of $1.3 million to settle civil claims that the stores violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
“We have seen a record number of Americans lose their lives in recent years as a result of opioid poisoning,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “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.”
“Healthcare 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 healthcare 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.
Specifically, the United States contends the two pharmacies violated the CSA at least 160 times between February 2018 and April 2021 by filling invalid prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines that were written by a physician clearly acting outside the scope of his medical practice, and pharmacists at both locations should have known this information and refused to fill those illegal prescriptions.
United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Jared A. Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Division made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Lugar and the DEA Richmond District Office investigated the matter.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.