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Utah pharmacy owned by Twin-Falls based Ridley's sued over alleged prescription violations

Utah pharmacy owned by Twin-Falls based Ridley's sued over alleged prescription violations

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In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a pharmacy tech poses for a picture with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin in Edmond, Okla.

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Utah have sued a pharmacy after claiming employees allegedly filled hundreds of opioid prescriptions for members of the same family in the small city of Morgan.

The state U.S. attorney’s office filed a civil enforcement action Friday against Ridley’s Family Markets Inc. and Ridley’s Food Corp. of Twin Falls after an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Standard-Examiner reported.

The lawsuit asks for an order to stop the pharmacy from violating federal controlled substances laws and demands monetary penalties against the companies.

The companies have denied the allegations and promised to fight any legal action.

Prosecutors claim the prescriptions were for highly abused opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone and were prescribed to married couple under “highly suspicious circumstances.”

Documents claim together that two people received 6,155 carisoprodal muscle relaxer tablets, 4,285 hydrocodone tablets and 4,370 oxycodone tablets between June 2017 and February 2019.

“The unfortunate reality is Ridley’s had virtually no safeguards in place to prevent their employees from filling these and other bogus prescriptions,” the lawsuit said.

Mark Morris, an attorney in Salt Lake City representing the Ridley companies, issued a statement on behalf of the company saying the company has cooperated with the DEA investigation.

“Ridley’s regrets that the government has seen fit to file this civil action suggesting that a couple of its pharmacists could have been suspicious of certain prescriptions,” the company said. “It vehemently disagrees with the characterizations contained in the complaint and will vigorously defend against these claims with every intention of prevailing and protecting its good name.”

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