CVS Subpoenaed by U.S. on Pharmacies’ Role in Opioid Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- CVS Health Corp. said it received a subpoena on behalf of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration asking the company for information about its handling of opioids and other controlled substances.

Federal authorities are investigating potential violations of two federal laws: the Controlled Substances Act, which regulates addictive drugs, and the False Claims Act, which prohibits companies from improperly benefiting from government health programs. The subpoena was sent in January by the Justice Department of behalf the the DEA, CVS said in a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Federal authorities are looking into “practices with respect to opioids and other controlled substances at CVS Pharmacy locations,“ according to the filing. It wasn’t clear whether the matter was limited to behavior at certain CVS locations or if it was a broader corporate issue.

“While we can’t speculate on the DEA’s motives, this subpoena asks for a broad range of information, including details on a large number of prescribers,” said T.J. Crawford, a spokesman for CVS. The company doesn’t believe the subpoena is related to ongoing opioid litigation in federal court in Ohio, he said.

The company said in the filing that it’s cooperating with the government on the inquiry. The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based pharmacy, drug benefits and insurance company said in the filing that it’s routinely audited by the DEA.

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