CVS to pay $450k to settle prescription dispute

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health will pay $450,000 to settle allegations that some of its Rhode Island stores filled invalid prescriptions and kept deficient records.

The Department of Justice claimed CVS retail pharmacies in Rhode Island filled forged prescriptions with invalid DEA numbers and filled prescriptions written by psychiatric nurse practitioners for hydrocodone, even though the practitioners were not legally permitted to prescribe them. The DOJ also accused CVS of recordkeeping deficiencies.

The alleged act is a violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which states substances such as painkillers and opioids can only be prescribed for medical purposes by a physician. In addition, the law puts a "corresponding responsibility" on the pharmacist filling the prescription to ensure the prescription is valid and legal, and the prescriber has the legal authority to prescribe the drug.

Although CVS will pay the $450,000 civil settlement, it denies wrongdoing in this case.

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