CVS Health to pay government $450,000 to settle painkiller dispute

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — CVS Health will pay the government $450,000 to settle allegations that several Rhode Island pharmacy locations filled a number of forged and invalid painkiller prescriptions.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha announced the agreement on Monday.

It caps a two-year investigation by Neronha’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control into Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS’s retail pharmacy locations. The government alleges these locations were filling prescriptions for various controlled substances with high potential for abuse.

The government says the locations filled a number of forged prescriptions with invalid DEA numbers and multiple prescriptions written by nurse practitioners for the opioid painkiller hydrocodone.

Under the Controlled Substance Act, such painkillers can only be prescribed by a physician.

CVS has denied wrongdoing.