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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 29, 2007
Contact: Rhett Fonseca
Number: 206-553-1251

DEA Suspends Seattle Branch Of Cardinal Health Drug Company And Rogue Internet Pharmacy From Distributing Controlled Substances

NOV 29 -- (Seattle, WA) - Arnold R. Moorin, Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), today announced the Immediate Suspension of the Federal Controlled Substance Registrations of the Auburn, WA branch of Cardinal Health Drug Company and Horen’s Drug Store located in Burlington, WA.

Cardinal Health’s Auburn facility, located at 801 C. Street NW, Suite B, Auburn, WA, has been the subject of a DEA investigation that alleges that Cardinal Health was selling large quantities of controlled substances to retail pharmacies, specifically Horen’s Drug Store, 130 E. Fairhaven, Burlington, WA. The investigation has revealed that Cardinal Health’s largest purchaser of hydrocodone, Horen’s Drug Store, was engaged in schemes to dispense controlled substances based on prescriptions that were written for other than legitimate medical purposes. In spite of being warned by DEA about the characteristics of rogue internet pharmacies, Cardinal Health’s Auburn branch distributed nearly 18 million dosage units of hydrocodone to retail pharmacies between January 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007. Horen’s Drug Store purchased 605,000 dosage units of hydrocodone from Cardinal Health between March 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is committed to keeping our community safe from those who facilitate and enable the abuse of prescription drugs purchased over the Internet,” Mr. Moorin said, “Drug traffickers who push pills over the Internet operate without regard for public safety or medical necessity. Today’s action is an important step toward ensuring accountability of those who are supplying these pills.”

DEA’s action suspends the DEA Certificate of Registration issued to the Auburn branch of Cardinal Health and the DEA Certificate of Registration issued to Horen’s Drug Store 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 has determined that the continued registrations of Cardinal Health and Horen’s Drug Store constitutes an imminent danger to public health and safety.

Cardinal Health’s Auburn office and Horen’s Drug Store received written notice of the factual and legal basis for this action. In addition, they 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 Cardinal Health’s and Horen’s registrations should be permanently revoked. This decision will be published in the Federal Register.

Today, more that 6 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs – that is more than the number of Americans abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined. Prescription drug abuse became a crisis practically overnight: In just five years, from 2000 to 2005, the number of Americans abusing prescription drugs rose more than 2/3 – from 3.8 million abusers to 6.4 million. Perhaps more alarming is that nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors admit to abusing powerful prescription painkillers. Misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation’s most prevalent drug problem, but the number of people abusing pain relievers for the first time exceeds the number of new marijuana users. Sadly, opioid painkillers now cause more drug overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

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