DEA settles Walgreens painkiller case for $80M

by Curt Anderson

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has reached an $80 million civil settlement with the Walgreens pharmacy chain over violations of rules governing the distribution of powerful prescription painkillers.

DEA officials said Tuesday that Walgreens committed numerous record-keeping and dispensing violations of the Controlled Substances Act. That allowed drugs such as oxycodone to be improperly sold to abusers and for on the black market.

Walgreens is the nation's largest with more than 8,000 stores. A spokesman at the Deerfield, Ill.-based company said a statement would be issued later.

Florida has been a major East Coast source of highly addictive painkillers. An ongoing crackdown in recent years including numerous arrests has reduced the number of illegal "pill mills" operating in the state.

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