CVS pharmacies in the Boston area and New Hampshire repeatedly filled Oxycodone prescriptions they should have known were forged - in one case because the chain's own computer system had a warning about the person who kept bringing them in - the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
CVS has agreed to pay $3.5 million and sign a three-year agreement with the DEA to monitor how it fills prescriptions for the painkiller.
The forged prescriptions traced back to just a few individuals. One of the forgers, P.R., signed a dentist’s name on 56 of 59 oxycodone prescriptions that P.R. was then able to get filled at five CVS locations. CVS pharmacists filled these prescriptions even though CVS banned P.R. in 2011 and its computer system contained notes warning that P.R. had tried to fill forged prescriptions in the past. P.R. managed to circumvent the ban by opening a new patient profile using her own Arizona driver’s license number but with a different last name. The government alleged that CVS should have known that the new profile was really P.R.’s, and that the quantities and frequency of P.R.’s oxycodone prescriptions were excessive, especially coming from a dentist. Moreover, the government alleged, even if CVS had believed the prescriptions to be real, there were red flags that P.R. was “doctor shopping,” including the fact that P.R. presented oxycodone prescriptions from two different providers during a single week at one CVS store.
In another case:
Another forger, E.D., was able to fill fake prescriptions for hydrocodone and methadone over 200 times at CVS stores. CVS filled the prescriptions, on which E.D. had forged the name of an emergency room physician who according to the prescriptions worked at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, even though: (a) the physician did not work at Brigham & Women’s Hospital; (b) the prescriptions were issued more often and for larger pill quantities than is normal for prescriptions issued by an ER physician; and (c) 21 of the prescriptions, which were presented and picked up by E.D., a man, purported to be for female patients (and all were filled by the same CVS pharmacy).