March 09, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
Dracut Pharmacy Settles Improper Dispensing And Recordkeeping Allegations
BOSTON - The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached a $42,500 civil settlement today with Alexander’s Pharmacy in Dracut, Mass., and its owner and operator, George Kontos, in connection with the improper dispensing of controlled substances and the failure to keep proper records and maintain effective controls against diversion.
“Ensuring the proper dispensing and handling of prescription drugs is a critical part of our ongoing efforts to protect patient safety and prevent drug diversion,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “We will continue to monitor and investigate those handling controlled substances, whether they are large pharmacy chains or small, independently owned pharmacies, to ensure they adhere to the DEA’s regulations.”
“DEA registrants are responsible for dispensing and handling controlled substances and ensuring that complete and accurate records are properly kept in compliance with the Controlled Substance Act,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “Our obligation is to improve public safety and public health, and we are committed to working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure that these rules and regulations are followed.”
According to the settlement, Alexander’s Pharmacy, without physician authorization, improperly filled prescriptions with larger dosage pills than prescribed because it had exhausted its inventory of the prescribed dosage. In addition, Alexander’s records did not account for hundreds of pills in the pharmacy’s inventory, including medications at high risk of diversion, such as oxycodone and alprazolam. Furthermore, Alexander’s failed to maintain invoices, document substituted medications, and account for medications that customers did not pick up. Kontos and Alexander’s Pharmacy cooperated with the DEA’s investigation and implemented new recordkeeping and security measures. Kontos and Alexander’s Pharmacy also agreed to permit the DEA to perform inspections of the pharmacy during the next 3 ½ years without a warrant.
Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz made the announcement.