PHOENIX, AZ. – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman and U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Dennis K. Burke, announced today that Walgreens Arizona Drug Co., on behalf of its wholly owned retail pharmacy in Show Low, Ariz., has agreed to pay the federal government $500,000 to settle allegations that it violated the federal Controlled Substances Act. The government alleged that between January 2003 and October 2004 the Show Low Walgreens filled prescriptions written by a former doctor, Kevin Brockbank, which were outside the usual course of professional practice. Under the Controlled Substances Act, pharmacists have a corresponding responsibility to ensure that the prescriptions they fill are for legitimate medical purposes.
“When abused, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous and addictive as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “DEA is committed to protecting the public from the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
“Abuse of prescribed pain medications is a serious problem in Arizona and across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “Both the doctor and the pharmacist who fills the prescription are responsible to ensure that the prescription is needed for a legitimate medical purpose.”
The settlement agreement resolves allegations, which Walgreens denies, that Walgreens violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling prescriptions issued by Kevin Brockbank. Brockbank was stripped of his license in a separate proceeding.
The investigation leading to the settlement was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Major Crimes Apprehension Team in Show Low. The case was handled by Mark Wenker, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.