CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Adkins Pharmacy, Inc. (“API”), a pharmacy located in Mingo County, has agreed to pay civil monetary penalties to resolve allegations that the pharmacy violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling illegitimate prescriptions, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart’s office.
Stuart says API has also entered into a three-year compliance agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) imposing heightened reporting and oversight requirements and sanctions for non-compliance.
According to the terms of the settlement agreement, API agreed to pay $88,085.73 to resolve allegations that it had filled prescriptions for controlled substances not valid at its location in Gilbert between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015.
During this time, API filled compound opioid prescriptions issued by physicians affiliated with Hitech Opioid Pharmachovigilance Expertise Clinic, PLLC (HOPE Clinic), even though API “knew or should have known that said prescriptions were not issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice,” according to the settlement agreement.
The Controlled Substances Act prohibits the distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. According to Stuart, a valid prescription for a controlled substance must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his or her practice. The investigation indicated that the pharmacist-in-charge at the pharmacy should have known patients had allegedly presented illegitimate prescriptions that should not have been filled.
“The diversion of prescription opioids fueled an epidemic and devastated a countless number of West Virginia families,” says United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “When pharmacies ignore red flags indicative of illegitimate opioid prescriptions for the sake of profits, we will use every available criminal and civil enforcement tool to hold them accountable.”
The settlement is a result of the United States Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Abuse, Recovery and Response Team (ARREST), which Stuart says is an innovative approach linking civil and criminal enforcement efforts together in a comprehensive attack on the opioid epidemic and healthcare fraud.
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