Costco says cooperating with DEA probe on controlled substances


Costco Wholesale Corp said on Wednesday that it will cooperate with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in its ongoing investigation of prescriptions for controlled substances, after receiving subpoenas and warrants from the DEA.

The DEA has targeted large pharmacy chains and distributors to stem the flow of prescription drugs where abuse is suspected.

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The DEA revoked the controlled substance licenses of two CVS Caremark Corp drugstores in Florida in 2012, and earlier this year Walgreen Co reached a record $80 million settlement with the agency to resolve allegations that its negligence in record-keeping and dispensing allowed highly addictive drugs to reach abusers and be sold illegally.

Costco announced its plans to cooperate with the DEA's subpoenas and administrative inspection warrants in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. It said the matter concerned its "fulfillment of prescriptions related to controlled substances and related practices."

Additional details were not provided, and company representatives declined to comment beyond what was included in the regulatory filing.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler and Bob Burgdorfer)