Safeway, an Albertsons Cos. banner, has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington to settle a 2014 investigation into Safeway’s compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. The investigation focused on compliance with record-keeping and reporting requirements related to the theft or significant loss of controlled substances during the period of May 2009-May 2014. Neither the DEA nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington is alleging ongoing violations.
As part of the settlement, Safeway will close an in-store pharmacy at 2100 Ralston Avenue in Belmont, California, and will suspend filling prescriptions for controlled substances for four months at a North Bend, Washington, in-store pharmacy. Safeway says in a press release that it remains committed to patient care and will work with patients to ensure that their healthcare needs are met during these transitions.
Safeway says that it cooperated fully with government investigators throughout the investigation and remains an active partner with the DEA, local law enforcement and the communities it serves in the fight against prescription drug abuse, including the abuse of opioids. Since early 2015, the company says it has significantly enhanced its controlled substance monitoring program and implemented a variety of improved policies and procedures to enforce compliance with the Controlled Substances Act.