March 21, 2013
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7000
Two Narcotic Treatment Programs Face Financial Penalties
Programs allegedly violated inventory provisions of the controlled substances act
ATLANTA - New Horizons Treatment Center and Epiphany Center, Rome Inc. located in Rome, Ga., have agreed to civil settlements and will pay penalties to resolve allegations they violated inventory requirements of the Controlled Substances Act. Epiphany Center, Rome Inc. has also agreed to voluntarily surrender its Drug Enforcement (DEA) license.
“The civil penalties set forth in this case are appropriate for the civil violations that these businesses engaged in,” said Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field (AFD). “DEA is in the business of keeping the public safe by making sure that such establishments are playing by the rules which will make the diversion of controlled analgesics less likely.”
“Narcotic treatment programs that distribute prescription drugs must maintain proper records of the drugs they distribute. By failing to keep an accurate count of their controlled substances inventories, these narcotic treatment programs created the potential that prescription drugs would be diverted to illegitimate uses,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “We are committed to detecting and stopping the diversion of controlled substances by enforcing the recordkeeping requirements of the Controlled Substances Act,” she said.
The government alleges that Epiphany Center, Rome Inc. failed to maintain a current, complete and accurate record of all controlled substances received, sold, delivered, or otherwise disposed of. Accountability audits conducted by the DEA revealed overages of methadone in 2011 and shortages of methadone in 2012. Significantly, the 2012 audit found a shortage of approximately 460,000 milligrams of methadone. The government also alleges that Epiphany Center failed to conduct its first biennial inventory of methadone, failed to conduct a biennial inventory in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, failed to maintain a dispensing log, and failed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding written orders for methadone.
The government alleges that New Horizons Treatment Center failed to maintain a current, complete and accurate record of all controlled substances received, sold, delivered, or otherwise disposed of. A 2011 accountability audit of New Horizons conducted by the DEA revealed overages of methadone liquid and buprenorphine and a shortage of methadone diskettes.
Both claims settled in these civil settlements are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. Epiphany Center has agreed to voluntarily surrender its DEA license and to pay $12,500 to resolve these allegations. New Horizons has agreed to pay $5,000 and to additional oversight from the DEA.
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted to ensure that controlled substances are properly regulated and to help prevent drug diversion. Thus, narcotic treatment programs that receive and dispense controlled substances are required to maintain complete and accurate inventories and records of all controlled substances that they purchase, receive, dispense, or destroy. In order to enforce the recordkeeping requirements of the Controlled Substances Act, the Act imposes civil penalties for refusing or negligently failing to maintain the records required by the Act.
These cases, which are unrelated, were investigated by Diversion Investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The civil settlements were reached by Assistant United States Attorneys Lena Amanti and Darcy Coty.SAC Sommers of the DEA AFD encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.