While opioid manufacturers and distributors play a major role in the opioid epidemic, chain pharmacies, such as Kroger, Fred Meyer, Dillons, Ralphs, Smith’s, and City Market may also be responsible.
The national and regional pharmacy chains may often be more concerned with making profits than they may be about safety. This has led to pharmacists not being supported by the corporate entities with the tools and time they need to evaluate whether opioid prescriptions are fraudulent, not medically necessary, or even deadly. Many pharmacists have even reported being pressured by their employers to fill prescriptions that show signs that they are being diverted or abused, i.e. “red flags.”
Concerns about irresponsible dispensing policies and procedures are not new to these chain pharmacies. News stories in the New York Times have highlighted the pressures pharmacists face and the lack of meaningful compliance with the law. The conduct of pharmacies has not gone unnoticed by regulators and law enforcement. Most recently, DOJ filed criminal charges against Ridley’s Family Markets Pharmacy alleging that the pharmacy dispensed hundreds of forged and fraudulent prescriptions for dangerous opioids.
How You Can Help
According to the CDC, 232,000 people died in the United States from prescription opioid overdoses from 1999-2018, but you can help prevent these deaths by reporting reckless dispensing practices. Baron & Budd is seeking current or former pharmacists and pharmacy managers who know the dispensing practices and policies of the chain pharmacies and how they supported negligent dispensing practices. National pharmaceutical chains such as Kroger, Fred Meyer, Dillons, Ralphs, Smith’s, and City Market could be responsible for defrauding the government and aiding in the opioid epidemic.
False Claims Act (FCA)
You should know that you can be compensated for becoming a whistleblower and exposing those companies or individuals who are committing fraud. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation from their employers by the Federal False Claims Act (FCA). Under this act, whistleblowers cannot be fired, demoted or denied regular benefits in response or retaliation to reporting fraud. Whistleblowers should contact an attorney to ensure protection in these cases.
With more than 30 years of experience, the attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower representation team have represented dozens of clients in government fraud cases returning over $5.4 billion to federal and state agencies, with whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%. They are ready to help if you feel you have the evidence needed to file a pill mill whistleblower complaint.
Please call (866) 401-5971 or complete our contact form if you would like more information. For more information, see What You Need to Know About Becoming a Whistleblower. Please understand that contacting us does not mean that you have established an attorney-client relationship with Baron & Budd, P.C.