Kroger Limited Partnership and Kroger Pharmacy have agreed to pay the United States $225,000 to settle civil allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) more than a dozen times at its Rio Hill Center location in Charlottesville, Virginia. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement today.
“Pharmacies are vital partners in our collective efforts to reduce the unlawful diversion and use of dangerous opioid drugs,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated in a news release. “As this case illustrates, federal prosecutors will utilize all available tools, including civil actions, to ensure that entities and individuals involved in the lawful dispensing of these potentially deadly drugs fully comply with the law.”
“This case is a great example of how the DEA is doing its part to help end the prescription drug and opioid crisis in our region,” SAC Fong said this week. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to find and prosecute medical professionals working to illegally distribute these drugs, and will not rest until we see the end of abusive prescribing practices in our area.”
The settlement resolves allegations by the United States that Kroger #334 (Rio Hill Center, Charlottesville, Va.) violated the CSA on at least 16 distinct occasions between May 2, 2015 and May 30, 2016. According to settlement documents, the United States claimed that Kroger #334 violated the CSA by improperly filling “office use only” prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances; failed to make and keep DEA 222 order forms; improperly distributed a Schedule II controlled substance absent the required DEA 222 form; and failed to provide effective controls and procedures to guard against diversion of controlled substances.
This proactive civil enforcement investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lugar litigated the case for the United States.