Pharmacy Pays Penalties for Violating Controlled Substances Laws

A pharmacy must pay $60,000 in a settlement resolving allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act and the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

A pharmacy must pay $60,000 in a settlement resolving allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act and the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

Palisade Pharmacy in Palisade, Colorado, allegedly committed 480 violations of both laws, according to the US attorney’s office for the District of Colorado.

The issues ranged from shipping controlled substances to unregistered locations, to failing to verify addresses on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) order forms with corresponding addresses registered with the DEA.

The pharmacy also allegedly filled controlled substance prescriptions that did not have all the required information on the front of the label. The staff did not maintain adequate records of controlled substances either, and it sold List 1 chemical products without a valid certificate, according to the US attorney’s office.

“Prescription drugs are controlled by federal law to protect the public; violations of the law by a pharmacy can put public health at risk,” stated US Attorney John Walsh in a press release.

“Palisade Pharmacy’s agreement to pay a civil penalty not only addresses the issues in this case, but sends a message to all pharmacies to follow the rules to protect the public.”

While Palisade Pharmacy agreed to pay $60,000 in the settlement, it did not admit to liability. However, the settlement does require the pharmacy to improve its reporting and training requirements.

The pharmacy also surrendered its Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act certification, which allows pharmacies to sell List 1 chemicals, for 3 years.

“The diversion of pharmaceuticals and chemicals for illicit gain and profit is nothing more than drug trafficking,” stated Barbra Roach, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Denver Field Division, in a press release. “Those occupying positions of trust and responsibility, such as medical practitioners and pharmacists, have to be held accountable when they chose to operate illegally and threaten the safety of our communities.”