Rite Aid is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks to address federal and state lawsuits it is facing over its alleged role in the sale of opioids, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which cited people familiar with the plan.
The Chapter 11 filing would cover Rite Aid’s more than $3.3 billion debt load and pending legal allegations that it oversupplied prescription painkillers, according to the report.
Rite Aid did not immediately respond to a Drug Store News request for comment.
Rite Aid operates more than 2,330 stores in 17 U.S. states.
[Read more: Rite Aid posts Q1 results]
The retailer has been named a defendant in lawsuits that alleged they helped fuel the opioid crisis in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice in March sued Rite Aid, accusing the pharmacy chain of missing "red flags" as it illegally filled hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for controlled substances, including opioids, according to a Reuters report, which also noted that Rite Aid also is facing lawsuits over opioids by state and local governments around the country. Other pharmacies, drugmakers and distributors have reached nationwide settlements of similar claims totaling more than $50 billion.
Rite Aid has not reached any nationwide settlement, though it has struck some smaller deals including a $10.5 million agreement with several counties last year, the report said.
[Read more: Rite Aid posts Q4, full-year results]