Rite Aid, the major U.S. pharmacy chain, announced it is filing for bankruptcy as the company deals with opioid-related lawsuits and falling sales.
Last year the company agreed to pay up to $30 million to settle lawsuits alleging their pharmacies contributed to an oversupply of prescription opioids, the Associated Press reports.
In March 2023, the Justice Department filed a complaint against Rite Aid. The complaint alleged that from May 2014 through June 2019, “Rite Aid knowingly filled at least hundreds of thousands of unlawful prescriptions for controlled substances that lacked a legitimate medical purpose, were not for a medically accepted indication, or were not issued in the usual course of professional practice,” the Justice Department said in a news release.
The Justice Department said these unlawful prescriptions included, for example, prescriptions for the dangerous and highly abused combination of drugs known as “the trinity,” prescriptions for excessive quantities of opioids, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, and prescriptions issued by prescribers whom Rite Aid pharmacists had repeatedly identified internally as writing illegitimate prescriptions.
The Justice Department acted after three whistleblowers who had worked at Rite Aid pharmacies filed a complaint, AP reported.