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Rite Aid Faces Potential Store Closures Amid Bankruptcy Talks, Federal Scrutiny
Rite Aid Corporation, a prominent American drugstore chain, is contemplating shuttering 400 to 500 outlets amidst bankruptcy deliberations. While talks are ongoing, the company's massive $3.3 billion debt looms large. Concurrently, federal lawsuits and a DOJ action over alleged mishandling of opioid prescriptions challenge the pharmacy's operations.
Currently, Rite Aid is negotiating the terms of a bankruptcy plan, which may result in the permanent closure of its stores, now numbering more than 2,100 in the 17 U.S. states. It was reported that some individuals familiar with the ongoing talks with creditors told the Wall Street Journal that the company suggested closing up to 500 pharmacies in bankruptcy.
It was also said that Rite Aid also proposed to either sell or allow creditors to take over the remaining drug stores. As per Fox Business, there is one group of bondholders that prefers to liquidate a greater number of stores, and officials are said to be discussing the exact number.
But while there is an ongoing talk, Rite Aid said they have not yet made any decision. It was already reported that the drugstore chain is planning to file for bankruptcy protection due to the more than $3.3 billion debt it has incurred. It also faces thousands of federal lawsuits about its alleged part in the sweeping spread of opioids.
Washington Examiner reported that Rite Aid is also being confronted by huge pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly "knowingly" filling up unlawful prescriptions for controlled substances. The DOJ said the pharmacy giant missed "obvious red flags" that the medications it sold were being abused by customers such as medical fentanyl and oxycodone.
Rite Aid disagreed with how the government described its handling of opioid medications. It also denied the claims it is filling illegal prescriptions.
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