Rite Aid sued by US over ‘illegal’ opioid prescriptions

The U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Ritual Aid on Monday, accusing the pharmacy chain of knowingly filling illegal prescriptions for controlled substances, including opioids.

Driving the news: The Department of Justice alleged in the complaint that from May 2014 to June 2019, Rite Aid filled hundreds of thousands of prescriptions “that were not medically necessary, did not have a medically accepted indication, or were not dispensed in the usual course of practice professional”.

  • This would have included prescriptions for excessive amounts of opioids, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, and for “trinities”, a dangerous combination of an opioid, benzodiazepine and muscle relaxant, which, according to the DOJ, is grossly abused.

What they say : The DOJ alleges the orders were filled despite clear “red flags” that they were “unlawful”.

  • Prosecutors also accused the pharmacy chain of ignoring evidence about it from some of its pharmacists, its distributor and its own internal data and of intentionally suppressing internal memos about suspicious prescribers.
  • “The current opioid epidemic is a national public health emergency,” the complaint states. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans is dead drug overdoses over the past decade. »
  • Rite Aid representatives declined to comment on the allegations because they were part of “litigation”.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with Rite Aid’s response.

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