CVS penalized $535,000 for filling invalid prescriptions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Drugstore chain CVS Health has agreed to pay a $535,000 penalty to resolve federal allegations that it filled 39 prescriptions for narcotic medications that its pharmacists should have known were forged.

The U.S. attorney for Rhode Island and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England office announced the penalty on Tuesday.

Federal officials say the forged prescriptions for Percocet were filled at several of the company’s Rhode Island locations between September 2015 and June 2017 and were filled in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which places a “corresponding responsibility” on the pharmacist filling the prescription to ensure that it is valid and legal.

Woonsocket-based CVS denies wrongdoing in the case but says it “agreed to this settlement to avoid the delay, uncertainty and expense of litigation.”

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