DEA investigates Costco’s painkiller dispensing

June 17, 2015

The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued subpoenas to Costco Wholesale Corp. concerning its practices related to dispensing controlled substances.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued subpoenas to Costco Wholesale Corp. concerning its practices related to dispensing controlled substances.

According to a story by Dow Jones Business News, Costco acknowledged receipt of the subpoenas in its quarterly report. In that report, Costco stated that the U.S. Attorney in various areas believe “that the company has committed civil regulatory violations concerning these subjects."

CVS to pay $22 million to settle illegal dispensing charges

Costco said it is cooperating with authorities, and that it doesn’t believe any litigation will adversely effect its financial position. If charges were eventually filed against Costco, the retail company would join others that have been accused of wrongdoing by the DEA involving the dispensing of controlled substances.

Both Walgreens and CVS have paid large settlements for recordkeeping and dispensing violations.

Costco has been on the DEA’s radar for some time. Last year, the agency began inspecting the records of several Costco pharmacies in Northern California.

 

DEA officials said one Costco pharmacy in West Sacramento bought more hydrocodone than any other pharmacy in California in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

According to the Sacramento Bee, that pharmacy bought nearly 5 million hydrocodone dosage units in 2011. During that same period, 184 pharmacies in seven California counties bought slightly more than 2 million units.

See also: Feds targeting Indiana pill mill doctors, pharmacists