MORGAN, Utah – The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Friday accusing the Ridley Family Markets chain of failing to monitor one of its Utah pharmacies that filled hundreds of illegal opioid prescriptions.
During an investigation into Ridley’s Morgan site, the Drug Control Directorate found that pharmacy employees had uploaded 160 counterfeit and fraudulent prescriptions from two customers.
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The complaint alleges that “customers’ actions were so clearly fraudulent that any reasonable pharmacist would have prevented the diversion of dangerous opioids and other controlled substances by properly following the provisions of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act).”
The lawsuit accuses Ridley of “closing his eyes” to red flags of drug abuse warnings and diversions, including:
- Filling out recipes that are not part of the buyer’s practice
- Unusual level of cash sales
- Prescribing the same drugs in multiple strengths
- Prescribing higher daily doses than medically necessary
- Similar or repeated recipes described by more than one family member at the same address
- Standards for drug combinations well known in the medical and pharmaceutical community that pose a high risk of drug abuse
The DEA said the Ridley town in Casper, Wyoming, loaded more than 200 illegal prescriptions written by a doctor convicted of pushing a pill.
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According to the lawsuit, the release of drugs in violation of the CSA will result in a civil penalty of up to $ 67,627 per violation.
Ridley’s owns 33 grocery stores and pharmacies in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada.