Friday, April 5, 2013

CVS to Pay Huge Fine After Allegations of Record-Keeping Violations

CVS Pharmacy Inc. will pay $11,000,000 to the U.S. government to settle civil penalty claims for record-keeping violations under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and related regulations, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced  earlier this week. Investigators have alleged that from October 6, 2005, to October 5, 2011, CVS pharmacy retail stores in Oklahoma and elsewhere violated the CSA and the record-keeping regulations by creating “dummy” DEA registration numbers for prescribing practitioners, filling prescriptions for prescribers whose registration numbers were not current or valid, and entering and maintaining dispensing records in which the registration numbers of nonprescribing practitioners were substituted for those of the prescribing practitioners. In reaching this settlement, CVS did not admit liability, and the government did not make any concession regarding the legitimacy of the claims. Public-health officials have been raising alarms for several years over the rapidly spreading epidemic of prescription-drug abuse.

"Abuse of prescription drugs is one of the most critical issues we face today,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart in a press release announcing the agreement. “This settlement reinforces the responsibilities of all pharmacies to prevent the diversion of dangerous drugs.”

A Canadian study recently concluded that using state monitoring programs to provide real-time information to pharmacies at the time that people try to fill opioid prescriptions could be an effective deterrent to abuse. Read more about that program in Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Jim Barber/


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