Rite Aid pays $177K to settle improper drug-dispensing allegations

Retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid will pay $177,000 to resolve allegations that it violated Massachusetts law by accepting cash payments from Medicaid recipients for controlled substances instead of billing the agency "in a limited number of instances," according to The Boston Globe.

The lawsuit, brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, claims that in some cases Medicaid had denied a claim for a controlled substance like opioids, and a Rite Aid pharmacist dispensed the medication anyway for cash.

Rite Aid denied violating state law and told The Globe that the settlement  is to avoid the uncertainty and expense of litigation.

Under the settlement arrangement, Rite Aid also agreed to train all pharmacy staff about Medicaid regulations and require all pharmacists to consult the state's prescription monitoring program before dispensing controlled substances.

A similar agreement was reached in 2016 and 2017 with CVS and Walgreens, which also were accused of violating controlled substance drug-dispensing rules.

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