Costco has agreed to pay $11.75 million dollars to settle allegations of lax pharmacy controls, including in the Sacramento area.
The U.S. Justice Department Eastern District of California says Costco failed to maintain records which resulted in significant shortages at central fill pharmacies in West Sacramento and Everett, Washington. As a result, the West Sacramento fill location has surrendered its registration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and lost the ability to handle controlled substances.
The Justice Department alleges Costco pharmacies filled prescriptions that were incomplete, lacked valid registration numbers or were for substances beyond various doctors' scope of practice.
Costco acknowledges that some of its pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions, kept poor records or failed to adequately track inventory between the start of 2012 and the end of 2015. The company has invested in a new $127 million pharmacy management system and adopted new audit protocols.
Attorneys with the Justice Department say good pharmacy controls are key to battling the nation's prescription drug abuse crisis.