Las Vegas Pharmacy To Pay $1 Million Fine, Surrender DEA Registration
LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas pharmacy has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve civil allegations that it violated federal drug laws, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
COFII Corp., d/b/a Lam’s Pharmacy in Las Vegas, entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Nevada United States Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), effective February 1, 2012, agreeing to pay the United States $1 million within 14 business days and to surrender its DEA registration. The agreement states that the DEA conducted an investigation concerning the receipt and distribution of and record-keeping for certain controlled substances that were received and distributed by Lam’s Pharmacy during the period May 1, 2006, through February 1, 2012, and that based on that investigation, the DEA alleges that the pharmacy violated civil provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
"This settlement highlights DEA's commitment to combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and ensure companies are held accountable to their legal and ethical responsibilities," said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent-in-Charge. "From reducing the demand for these drugs, to enforcing drug laws, to taking prescription drugs out of harm's way when no longer needed, the DEA will continue to work with our state and local counterparts to help keep our communities safe.
The settlement agreement states that the parties wish to compromise and settle the matter to avoid the uncertainties and expense of litigation, and that nothing in the agreement constitutes an admission of wrongdoing or liability by the pharmacy. The settlement agreement outlines a number of steps that the government will take to facilitate the sale of Lam’s Pharmacy. The pharmacy will continue in operation in Las Vegas, but under a new name and new management.
“This is the largest civil settlement of its kind against a non-chain or non-institutional pharmacy in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Civil settlements such as this are an extremely important component in our strategy to combat unlawful prescription drug trafficking in Nevada. We will continue to work with our federal and local law enforcement partners to pursue criminally and civilly physicians, pharmacists, and pharmacies that are involved in the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs.”
In addition to this civil settlement, since January 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Nevada has filed federal criminal charges against over 70 individuals, including three doctors and a pharmacist, for unlawfully distributing highly addictive prescription painkillers.