GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) – Federal prosecutors announced a $7.75 million settlement with McLaren Health Care Corp. on Tuesday over allegations of violating controlled substance laws.
McLaren, which is based in Grand Blanc Township, agreed to the monetary fine after a years-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. He called it the largest settlement in U.S. history involving drug diversion at a health care system.
The DEA investigation began over claims that a pharmacy aligned with McLaren was sending controlled substances to an unregistered substance abuse treatment facility in Boyne Falls. The investigation expanded to include allegations involving other McLaren facilities.
McLaren Port Huron Pharmacy and McLaren Yale Pharmacy in St. Clair County allegedly dispensed Schedule II painkillers without written prescriptions despite warnings that a pharmacist was diverting them. As part of the settlement, McLaren admitted to filling 1,255 painkiller prescriptions with no written documentation from May 2014 to February 2018.
Government investigators say a pharmacist wrote several prescriptions for the same drug in the same quantity, which should have served as a “red flag.”