The Department of Justice is suing Rite Aid, accusing one of the largest pharmaceutical companies of contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis. In its complaint, the Justice Department claims Rite Aid filled thousands of unlawful prescriptions and intentionally deleted internal memos from employees warning about suspicious prescribers. Rite Aid is accused of ignoring red flags and dispensing an excess of opioids such as oxycodone and fentanyl.
Two pharmacists and a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid came forward as whistleblowers, accusing the company of filling illegitimate prescriptions.
Rite Aid has not commented on the lawsuit, and it is not the only big pharma company targeted by the DOJ as a contributor to the opioid crisis. Walmart and drug distributor AmerisourceBergen have also been sued.
500,000 drug overdoses have unfolded in the United States over the last 21 years. Nearly 1/5 of those overdoses happened in 2020 alone, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from the CDC, 90,000 people died that year from opioids.
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KARAH RUCKER: THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS SUING RITE AID – ACCUSING ONE OF THE LARGEST PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES OF CONTRIBUTING TO THE NATION’S OPIOID CRISIS.
IN THE COMPLAINT – THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CLAIMS RITE AID FILLED THOUSANDS OF UNLAWFUL PRESCRIPTIONS AND INTENTIONALLY DELETED INTERNAL MEMOS FROM EMPLOYEES WARNING ABOUT SUSPICIOUS PRESCRIBERS.
RITE AID IS ACCUSED OF IGNORING RED FLAGS AND DISPENSING AN EXCESS OF OPIOIDS SUCH AS OXYCODONE AND FENTANYL.
TWO PHARMACISTS AND A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN AT RITE AID CAME FORWARD AS WHISTLEBLOWERS. ACCUSING THE COMPANY OF FILLING ILLEGITIMATE PRESCRIPTIONS.
RITE AID HAS NOT COMMENTED ON THE LAWSUIT – AND THEY’RE NOT THE ONLY BIG PHARMA COMPANY TARGETED BY THE DOJ AS A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE OPIOID CRISIS. WALMART AND DRUG DISTRIBUTOR AMERI-SOURCE-BERGEN HAVE ALSO BEEN SUED.
FROM 1999-2020, THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 500 THOUSAND DEATHS FROM DRUG OVERDOSES IN THE UNITED STATES. NEARLY ONE FIFTH OF THOSE OD’S HAPPENED IN 2020 ALONE – THE FIRST YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC – 90 THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED FROM OPIOIDS…ACCORDING TO DATA FROM THE CDC.