Flint nonprofit fighting against addiction reacts to historic drug-handling settlement

McLaren Health Care Corporation is paying in what’s being called nation’s largest settlement of its kind
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 11:26 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (01/19/2020) - McLaren Health Care Corporation is agreeing to pay the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in what’s being called the nation’s largest settlement of its kind.

$7.75 million is resolving allegations of drug diversion at the healthcare system.

“Diversion is a huge issue, and at the corporate level, with so many scripts in that, it can really disseminate and get out there and kind of detracts from the fight that we fight,” Aaron Rubio said. Rubio is the President of the United Community Addiction Network (UCAN), a nonprofit in Flint making a movement against the disease of addiction.

The DEA is looking into cases where the corporation mishandled controlled substances and didn’t alert the feds about thefts of substances at certain locations.

They are also looking into an unregistered substance abuse treatment facility wrongfully receiving controlled substances from a McLaren pharmacy and calling it “office stock.”

“Hopefully it’s a lesson learned not only for McLaren, but for also other healthcare systems in Michigan and around the country that say, ‘Hey! We have to do our share. We maybe have to put some procedures and protocols to do our double checks on our pharmacies at multiple sites,’ Rubio said.

Aaron Rubio says he’s glad that McLaren Health Care Corporation in stepping up, acknowledging it, and is rectifying it.

McLaren Health Care Corporation released a statement, saying in part, “We have worked diligently to strengthen protocols across our system. I am proud of the culture of accountability and compliance we maintain and look forward to continued collaboration with the DEA moving forward.”

“At all levels from the healthcare facilities to the treatment facilities to the prescribing physicians, all of those need to take a part in trying to curb this epidemic and slow it down, so that we can make some resolve to it,” Rubio said.

For more information about the settlement, click here.

To visit the United Community Addiction Network, click here.

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