Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Stephen G. Azzam, Special Agent in Charge

August 22, 2018

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (504) 840-1100

CVS Pharmacy pays one million penalty in settlement with DOJ for violations of the Controlled Substances Act

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with CVS Pharmacy, Inc. to resolve violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act and its implementing regulations at CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the Northern District of Alabama, announced DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town. 

Under the terms of the agreement, CVS paid a civil penalty of one million to the United States. It is the largest civil fine paid in Alabama for a Drug Enforcement Administration registrant.

“The misuse of prescription painkillers is a public health crisis in the state of Alabama,” Azzam said. “DEA registrants have a responsibility to handle controlled substances in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. DEA has an obligation to improve public health and safety, and we are committed to working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure that these rules and regulations are followed.”

“Our office is committed to ensuring total compliance with the Controlled Substances Act and we will vigorously enforce violations wherever we find them,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Saxon, who handled the case. “All DEA registrants should remember that DEA licensure is a privilege; it is not a right. Where that privilege is abused, the Justice Department will take all necessary action to ensure that it is revoked,” he said.

Each CVS Pharmacy retail store located in the Northern District of Alabama is registered separately with the DEA and is assigned a unique DEA registration number that authorizes it to dispense controlled substances pursuant to the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. Investigation by the DEA found violations of the act and its implementing regulations relating to recordkeeping by CVS. The civil penalty CVS paid covers all recordkeeping violations discovered in the Northern District of Alabama prior to July 29, the effective date of the settlement agreement. The Justice Department will continue actively monitoring compliance with the Controlled Substances Act by CVS and other DEA registrants throughout the Northern District of Alabama.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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