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Walgreens reaches $80M settlement with DEA


Deerfield, Ill. -- Walgreens will pay $80 million as part of a settlement with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over a failure to report unusually large shipments of prescription painkillers from a distribution center in Jupiter, Fla. Six Walgreens pharmacies in Florida received tens of thousands of orders for regulated painkillers that were up three times the normal size, but the distribution center did not report them to the DEA as they were required to by law.

In a press release, Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness for Walgreens, said his company has resolved all administrative and civil matters relating to this investigation with the settlement.

“As part of the agreement with DEA and our continuing desire to work with DEA to combat prescription drug abuse, we have identified specific compliance measures – many of which Walgreens has already taken – to enhance our ordering processes and inventory systems, to provide our team members with the tools, training and support they need to ensure the appropriate dispensing of controlled substances and to improve collaboration across the industry,” said Crawford.

The distribution center that sparked the DEA probe is banned from distributing and dispensing controlled substances until 2014 and the settlement also resolves investigations into the distribution of painkillers from Walgreens distribution centers in Colorado, New York and Michigan. Walgreens expects the settlement will cause a negative impact on its third quarter stock price of four to six-cents per share.

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