The retail pharmacy chain CVS will pay $11 million to the federal government to settle claims that the firm kept faulty prescription drug records at Oklahoma pharmacies.
The settlement stems from a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into alleged record-keeping abuses at CVS pharmacies in Oklahoma.
DEA investigators found numerous instances of inaccurate record keeping at CVS pharmacies during the investigation, including false DEA registration numbers and mislabeled prescriptions, according to court documents filed in the case.
CVS operates 46 retail pharmacies in Oklahoma.
Rhode Island-based CVS admitted to no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but the company agreed that its stores must comply with federal controlled-substance record-keeping laws.
In a written statement, CVS said that it agreed to settle the matter to avoid “time consuming litigation.”
“CVS/pharmacy is committed to the highest standards of ethics and business practices, including complying with all federal and state laws governing the dispensing of prescriptions and related record-keeping requirements,” the statement said.
CVS cooperated with the government's investigation and has improved its record keeping polices as a result, the company said.
“CVS/pharmacy has developed and implemented a new, state-of-the-art retail electronic prescription management and record-keeping system at a cost of several hundred million dollars that is designed to comply with DEA and other regulatory requirements,” CVS said.
“Going forward, we remain committed to complying with all federal and state laws governing the dispensing of prescriptions and related record-keeping requirements.”
U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats, in a statement, said complying with federal controlled substance laws is vital to tackling the problem of prescription drug abuse.
“To combat this problem, it is essential that those who dispense controlled substances comply with DEA's record-keeping requirements,” Coats said. “This ensures that dispensers of prescription drugs remain accountable for the controlled substances within their control and makes the illegal diversion of those drugs more difficult.”