Rite Aid pays nearly $500,000 in pharmacy consultation lawsuit

Pleasanton drug store one of 582 in California suit

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced this week that the Office's Consumer and Environmental Protection Division, along with Riverside and San Diego District Attorneys' Offices and the California State Board of Pharmacy, has settled a $498,250 lawsuit against the owners of the Rite Aid pharmacy chain in California.

Rite Aid operates a pharmacy at Hopyard Road and Valley Avenue in Pleasanton.

The civil complaint, filed in San Diego Superior Court, alleges that California Rite Aid pharmacists frequently failed to comply fully with the board's rules requiring personal pharmacist consultations when prescription drug customers receive new prescriptions or new dosages of existing prescriptions.

In 2011 the California State Board of Pharmacy contacted the three District Attorneys' offices concerning health risks that may arise when pharmacists fail properly to provide needed personal consultation to prescription drug customers. Working with the Board of Pharmacy, the three DA offices conducted an undercover investigation of the consultation practices of a number of the major pharmacy chains in California.

Under the terms of the judgment, which was entered without admission of liability, Rite Aid is permanently enjoined to comply properly with California's standards for patient consultations, and must fully implement an internal compliance program. The Rite Aid entities also agreed to pay agency investigative costs of $78,250 and civil penalties totaling $420,000.

Alameda County will receive one-third, or $140,000, of those civil penalties and $18,500 of the costs.

Rite Aid and its counsel worked cooperatively with the prosecutors to promptly resolve the matter and to implement the new compliance procedures.

"The collaboration of the three D.A. Offices and the State Board of Pharmacy resulted in today's settlement," O'Malley said.

"Pharmacist consultations are imperative to safeguard that prescriptions have been filled according to a doctor's order, as well as to advise the patient of proper and safe usage of the medication. My Office remains dedicated to ensuring that the public has access to knowledge and education regarding the use of all prescription drugs."

Thrifty Payless, Inc., a California corporation, is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Corporation, a Delaware corporation. Payless owns and operates the 582 Rite Aid-branded pharmacies in California, including the one in Pleasanton, on behalf of the Rite Aid Corporation.


Like this comment
Posted by Extortion is Sad
a resident of Rosewood
on Jul 2, 2014 at 3:38 am

Yet another DA lawsuit where they can't point to any victim, bad intent on the part of the businesses, or benefit to the citizenry, or even explain what laws were violated.

Another instance of what has become the standard extortion. I forgot who they sued that ended up with a $400K payment to former Attorney General Bill Lockyer's pet project, some govt. institute at his alma mater.

What a third world piece of crap they are making out of my state and my country. And the arrogance to give a press release about each latest theft. Sickening.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jul 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley is noting but a publicity seeker. If people want a consultation they can get one. This is a non issue. She should get out and find some real crime to address, but that takes real investigate work.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

it seems to me that r-aid got their come-uppins...i rest my case...

B U S T E D...respect the law...respect the law...and i mean it!

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