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CVS to Settle Painkiller Misuse Allegations for $22 Million

May 18, 2015

In 2012, the federal government filed a lawsuit against CVS and its wholesale supplier Cardinal over alleged misuse of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. Allegedly, CVS and Cardinal were aware that two Florida pharmacies were receiving high-volume orders of oxycodone. The Wall Street Journal reports that CVS Health Corp. has agreed to pay $22 million to settle these allegations.

CVS said in a regulatory filing that the settlement resolves civil matters with the state of Florida and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The settlement amount had accrued over previous fiscal periods, CVS said. The DEA had alleged that CVS and Cardinal did not adequately investigate the the pharmacies for having substantially higher sales of oxycodone.

In the midst of the litigation, the two pharmacies had their controlled-substance registrations revoked by the DEA. CVS said in a statement that it has strengthened its practices for filling controlled-substance prescriptions. "CVS dedicated to reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion while ensuring access to appropriate, effective pain medication for patients with a legitimate need," CVS said, according to WSJ.

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