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VOL. 41 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 20, 2017

Costco agrees to pay $12M over lax pharmacy practices

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SEATTLE (AP) — Costco Wholesale Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $12 million to settle Justice Department allegations of lax pharmacy controls over a four-year period.

The Issaquah, Washington-based company acknowledges in the settlement announced Thursday 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 case grew out of separate investigations conducted by federal authorities in Washington, Michigan and California.

Seattle U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes says good pharmacy controls are key to battling the nation's prescription drug abuse crisis. Hayes says companies like Costco that deliver huge volumes of the drugs have a responsibility to help keep such drugs from reaching the black market.

Costco has invested in a new, $127 million pharmacy management system and adopted new audit protocols.

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