BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — The State of Massachusetts will receive over $177,000 from Rite Aid as part of a settlement regarding the drug store chain's opioid dispensing that will help fund the state's municipal "Naloxone Fund," according to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.
The settlement with Rite Aid stems from the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division investigation into several drug store chains which found that some Rite Aid pharmacies were allegedly dispensing controlled substances such as opioids in exchange for "out-of-pocket payments" instead of submitting claims to MassHealth, according to the Attorney General's Office. Rite Aid failed to monitor MassHealth's Controlled Substance Management Program members' "drug utilization patterns" in violation of MassHealth rules, the Attorney General's Office alleges.
“In our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, pharmacies are on the front lines,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “Today’s settlement with Rite Aid will update their practices and provide more lifesaving doses of naloxone to first responders, helping keep this fund available for as long as it is needed.”
Through the state's Municipal Naloxone Fund which was established in 2015, first responders are able to purchase Naloxone at a significantly discounted rate, according to the Attorney General's Office.
The settlement also includes Rite Aid agreeing to correct its controlled substance dispensing practices, Healy's Office said.