Rite Aid to pay over $4 million for hiding sales of meth ingredienttop male enhancements online

Pharmacy giant Rite Aid will have to pay more than $4 million to the US government because several store employees falsified documents about customers buying ingredients used to cook methamphetamine, federal officials announced on Wednesday.

Rite Aid will shell out $4.75 million as part of a settlement agreement it has entered for violating the Controlled Substances Act, which requires stores to log names and addresses of customers who buy pseudo­ephedrine products.

Between 2009 and 2014, Rite Aid employees knowingly falsified the logbook for tens of thousands of sales in that period, according to the settlement agreement.

The payout was announced Wednesday by several law-enforcement agencies, including the New York division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Regulatory laws are put in place for a reason — to ensure public health and safety,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said in a statement.

“Companies that turn a blind eye to regulations concerning the purchase of products containing pseudo­ephedrine enable illicit methamphetamine production.”

“Rite Aid’s blatant disregard to compliance made it personal to us — whose job it is to save lives,” he added.

The chain operates 2,000 pharmacies across 18 states — including 392 in New York state.

Shortly after the government notified Rite Aid of the violations, the company “voluntarily devised and implemented a number of enhancements” to the sale of pseudoephedrine to better ensure it complies with federal law, US officials said in their announcement of the settlement.

In a statement, Rite Aid said the sales in question typically involved either incomplete or inaccurate customer names and addresses for over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, such as Advil Cold & Sinus and Claritin-D.

The sales represented less than a half of 1 percent of the more than 20 million cold-medication sales that Rite Aid made during the five-year period, the company said.

The company stressed that it “immediately” took action to address its books and that the settlement was “not an admission of liability by Rite Aid.”

Additional reporting by Vincent Barone