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Cincinnati-based Omnicare, Inc. will pay to resolve improper opioid distribution allegations

Posted at 3:55 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 15:57:26-04

LOS ANGELES — A Cincinnati-based provider of pharmacy services has come to a settlement agreement with federal authorities to resolve allegations that it improperly distributed opioid medications to long-term care facilities.

Los Angeles-based U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna announced in a news release Wednesday the agreement between Omincare, Inc., his office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The court accused the "closed door" pharmacy provider -- which provided medications to the long-term care facilities but did not operate traditional pharmacy storefronts -- of dispensing opioid medications and other controlled substances without a valid prescription.

The pharmaceutical provider agreed to pay $15.3 million to resolve the allegations, Hanna stated.

According to the release, at the heart of the allegations were "emergency kits," provided by Omnicare to the facilities, that often included opioids and controlled substances that are commonly abused and diverted.

In a statement emailed to WCPO Wednesday, CVS Health spokesman Michael DeAngelis did not confirm the amount of the payment Omnicare will make, but he did confirm:

Omnicare has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and certain U.S. Attorneys' offices to resolve allegations dating back to 2012 concerning the handling and processing of controlled substance prescriptions at some of its long-term care pharmacy locations.

DeAngelis continued, stating, "The matter was settled to avoid the expense and uncertainty of potential litigation, and there was no admission of wrongdoing."

CVS Health acquired Omnicare, Inc. in 2015.

A spokesperson for Omnicare, Inc. or CVS Health was not immediately available to provide comment. WCPO will update this story.