Rite Help Settles U.S. Criminal Probe into Pseudoephedrine Sales

Jan 24 (Reuters) – Rite Aid Corp will pay $4 million to solve a U.S. Department of Justice criminal probe into the incorrect sale of pseudoephedrine, a component typically used to make the stimulant methamphetamine, federal district attorneys stated on Wednesday.

The settlement deals with claims that Rite Aid’s training and treatments led workers in West Virginia to think they might choose not to sell pseudoephedrine only if they believed consumers were surpassing defined purchase limitations, not if they believed clients wished to make methamphetamine.

While pseudoephedrine is used in cold medications such as Sudafed, federal law limits its sale to avoid prohibited usages. Methamphetamine can improve energy and curb hunger but has been connected to unfavorable impacts such as aggressiveness, stress and anxiety, sleep disorders and strokes.

Rite Aid has accepted duty for inappropriate pseudoephedrine sales in West Virginia from January 2009 to October 2012 and taken actions to avoid abuse, according to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart in Charleston, West Virginia. The $4 million represents 80 percent of Rite Aid’s gross sales of pseudoephedrine over that time duration in West Virginia. It will be dispersed to that state’s Victims Compensation Fund and Department of Health and Human Services.

” For several years Rite Aid has had in place robust and substantial internal controls created to make sure complete compliance with the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act,” a law from 2005, Rite Aid stated in a declaration. “Rite Aid is totally dedicated to its continuous collaboration with police and thefederal government in combating substance abuse.”.

The Camp Hill, thePennsylvania-based company remains in the procedure of selling 1,932 shops to bigger competing Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, after the chains were not able in 2015 to win approval from antitrust regulators to combine. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker).