(Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice announced Jan. 19 that Costco
Wholesale will pay $11.75 million after allegations its pharmacies violated the
Controlled Substance Act.
across this country are on the leading edge of the battle against our
prescription drug abuse crisis,” U.S. attorney Annette L. Hayes said. “A
company such as Costco that distributes a significant volume of controlled
substances has a responsibility to ensure it complies with regulations that
help prevent opioids and other dangerous drugs from being misused or otherwise
added to the illegal marketplace.”
to allegations, Costco pharmacies often filled prescriptions that were
incomplete or that lacked valid Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) numbers.
Costco also purportedly failed to keep accurate records at its pharmacies of
“Last year [more than] 50,000 Americans died as a result of drug overdoses, many of which were
related to the misuse of prescription drugs. This settlement
demonstrates the accountability and responsibility that go along with handling
controlled prescription drugs,” said DEA assistant administrator Louis Milione. “The DEA
works every day to reinforce good corporate practices through outreach and
education efforts and, when appropriate, with administrative and criminal
to the monetary fine, Costco agreed to make changes to improve its pharmacy
practices. It will invest $127 million over the next five years on a new
pharmacy management system.