Compounding Pharmacy Back in Business After Suing DEA

November 20, 2014
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

After the Drug Enforcement Administration revoked the Tampa-based pharmacy's registration to sell controlled substances and seized its drugs, the company fought back with a lawsuit.

West Chase Compounding Pharmacy is back in business.

After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revoked the Tampa-based pharmacy’s registration to sell controlled substances and seized its drugs, the company fought back with a lawsuit.

Then, on November 18, 2014, a judge ordered the DEA to allow the pharmacy to resume sales, according to the Tampa Tribune.

The DEA had argued that the pharmacy’s new owner did not follow the correct protocol in becoming registered to sell controlled substances, and that the agency should have received advanced notice of the ownership transfer.

The pharmacy could not conduct its regular business after DEA agents arrived at the building late last week.

US District Judge Mary Scriven berated the agents for disobeying rules, having a bad attitude, and not properly handling the seized goods, the paper reported. The agents, for example, did not refrigerate some medications that were supposed to be kept in air conditioning.

The pharmacy’s attorneys said the DEA should not have been allowed to cease the pharmacy’s business unless there were some imminent danger to the public, according to the Tampa Tribune.

According to legal filings, the pharmacy approved the sale of membership interest on February 1, 2014.

An attorney for the pharmacy further argued that the pharmacy’s DEA registration was under the company’s name, not under either of the owners’ names, so the agency did not have to be notified.

“I don’t understand why we’re even here,” Scriven said, according to the Tampa Tribune. “This is preposterous...There’s just no basis for an imminent danger finding on this record.”

Scriven went on to say that the DEA is supposed to act only if a danger is present or if they give notice before taking the pharmacy’s drugs. The DEA allegedly knew about the issue since September, but did not act until this past week.

The DEA’s counsel told Scriven that the agents “acted in good faith.” He also maintained transferring ownership with the DEA registration intact is not allowed, the Tampa Tribune reported.

Scriven begged to differ.

“Your own handbook permits a transfer without a new registration,” Scriven said, according to the Tampa Tribune. “It seems someone missed a step at the DEA.”