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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 28, 2007

Supplier of Internet Pharmacies Shut Down

MAR 28 -- (Glasgow, KY) – Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced the Immediate Suspension of the Federal Controlled Substance Registration of Richie Pharmacal, Inc.

Richie Pharmacal, Inc., 119 State Avenue, Glasgow, Kentucky, has been the subject of a DEA investigation that alleges the company was selling large quantities of controlled substances to internet pharmacies. The investigation has revealed that several of Richie Pharmacal, Inc.’s largest purchasers of hydrocodone were engaged in schemes to dispense controlled substances based on prescriptions that were written for other than legitimate medical purposes. The investigation revealed that Richie Pharmacal, Inc. distributed over 27 million dosage units of combination Hydrocodone products to customers in 2006.

Robert L. Corso, stated, “Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to ensure that the drugs they sell don’t end up in the hands of drug traffickers who conduct their illegal business over the Internet. Richie Pharmacal, Inc., knew, or should have known, based on the large, frequent quantities, that their customers were diverting hydrocodone into arenas that were not legitimate. Today’s action sends the message that the DEA is working hard to hold accountable those companies that are supplying pills to internet pharmacies.”

DEA’s action suspends Richie Pharmacal, Inc.’s DEA Certificate of Registration in accordance with an Immediate Suspension Order and pursuant to Sections 303 and 304 of the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21, Sections 823 and 824. The DEA’s investigation of Richie Pharmacal, Inc. has determined that the continued registration of this company constitutes an imminent danger to public health and safety.

Richie Pharmacal, Inc. received written notice of the factual and legal basis for this action. In addition, Richie Pharmacal, Inc. will be given an opportunity for an administrative hearing within the next 60 days. After the hearing, the DEA Deputy Administrator will make a final decision on whether Richie Pharmacal, Inc.’s registration should be permanently revoked. This decision will be published in the Federal Register.

Hydrocodone is the generic name of an addictive prescription painkiller that is classified under federal narcotics laws as a Schedule III controlled substance. Hydrocodone is typically legally prescribed to combat acute, severe pain for legitimate medical purposes. Accordingly, these prescriptions are usually for a modest number of pills to be taken over a short period of time.

This is an ongoing investigation. Please forward any questions to DEA Detroit Public Information Officer Rich Isaacson at (313) 234-4310.


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