Walgreens has reached a settlement with the federal government that will cost the company about $80 million. The DEA charged that Walgreens was committing an “unprecedented” number of record-keeping and dispensing violations of the Controlled Substances Act. Walgreens was said to have negligently allowed controlled substances such as the narcotic oxycodone and other prescription painkillers to be distributed to abusers and sold illegally on the black market.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the U.S. death rate from drug overdoses has more than tripled since 1990. It said prescription painkillers, also known as opioid or narcotic pain relievers, were involved in more than 15,500 overdose deaths in the United States in 2009. Walgreens had previously set aside $80 million for a settlement, including $25 million in its fiscal third quarter, which ended May 31st.