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CVS Pharmacy Pays $600,000 to Settle Controlled Substances Act Allegations

OCT 20 (HARTFORD, Conn.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (CVS) has agreed to pay the federal government a total of $600,000 to resolve alleged violations of civil provisions of the Controlled Substances Act at stores in Southington and New Britain.

The government alleges that, on at least 2,886 occasions, the CVS store located at 326 Main Street in Southington failed to keep paper Schedule III-V prescriptions either in a separate prescription file or readily retrievable location away from other prescription records in violation of the law.  In addition, on 31 occasions, the store failed to keep Schedule III-V purchase invoices in a readily accessible location separate and apart from other records required to be kept under law.

The government further alleges that, on at least 4,936 occasions, the CVS store located at 713 Main Street in New Britain failed to keep paper Schedule III-V prescriptions either in a separate prescription file or readily retrievable location away from other prescription records in violation of the law.  In addition, on six occasions, the store failed to keep Schedule III-V purchase invoices in a readily accessible location separate and apart from other records required to be kept under law.

Congress, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, took steps to attempt to create “a closed system” of distribution for controlled substances in which every facet of the handling of the substances, from their manufacture to their consumption by the ultimate user, was to be subject to intense governmental regulation.  This mission was taken against the backdrop of trying to prevent the diversion and abuse of legitimate controlled substances while at the same time ensuring an adequate supply of those substances needed to meet the medical and scientific needs of the United States.  Accurate record keeping at retail pharmacies helps ensure that investigators can keep track of how many controlled substances a pharmacy should have and does have on hand.

As part of the settlement agreement, CVS has agreed that certain pharmacy supervisors, district managers, regional managers and loss prevention managers will attend a training session where the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration will provide information concerning federal regulatory obligations related to controlled substances.  CVS will share that information to all active pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and will continue to provide recurring controlled substances training to its pharmacy staff.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control in Rocky Hill and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Drug Control Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Soloway.


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