Wyoming Pharmacy Agrees to $1 Million Settlement For Allegations of Violating the Controlled Substances Act

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(Photo Ron Richter©)

A Wyoming pharmacy is expected to pay $1 million to settle allegations of federal drug law violations. Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the details.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Wyoming announced a recent civil settlement involving the Osco pharmacy located in Casper, which is owned and operated by Albertsons LLC. Albertsons agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that its Casper-based pharmacy had committed numerous violations of the Controlled Substances Act, or CSA.

The allegations stem from the investigation of Casper physician Shakeel Khan, who was convicted and sentenced last year for “Unlawfully Distributing and/or Dispensing Oxycodone which resulted in the death of another” and “Knowingly Aiding and Abetting Another in Dispensing/Distributing Oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose” and conspiracy to do the same. While investigating Dr. Khan’s illegal prescribing practices, investigators became concerned about the role of Casper-area pharmacies in filling prescriptions Dr. Khan provided to his patients.

An audit of the Albertsons Osco Pharmacy #60 in Casper revealed a number of alleged violations of the CSA that occurred between October 15, 2015 and February 28, 2017. Investigators uncovered 128 instances of patients filling prescriptions for unusually large quantities and dosages of narcotics; patients utilizing multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions; or third parties filling prescriptions for out-of-state patients. Additional record keeping violations were also discovered. The Department of Justice news release states that while the settlement agreement avoids further litigation, it is not an admission of liability by Albertsons, nor is it a concession by the United States Attorney’s Office that its claims are not well founded.

DEA Cheyenne Resident Agent in Charge David Tyree said that the settlement reflects the DEA’s ongoing commitment to utilize all of the tools at its disposal to fight the opioid epidemic, hold the medical and pharmaceutical communities responsible for violations, and protect the citizens of Wyoming.