Seattle Cancer Care Alliance settles investigation for $250,000

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a Justice Department investigation over how a nurse was able to divert more than 96,000 oxycodone pills from an onsite pharmacy.

Federal prosecutors said pharmacists should have questioned the high-dose, high-quantity prescriptions the nurse falsified between 2011 and 2013 and picked up purportedly on behalf of the patients. The nurse took her own life after the scheme came to light.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is a coalition that includes doctors and researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s and University of Washington Medicine. In the settlement Thursday, the organization did not admit misconduct, but agreed to make sure pharmacists to take reasonable steps to validate prescriptions.