July 27, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

DEA Revokes CVS Pharmacy Licenses in Florida

cvs pharmacie suffers DEA action

Two CVS pharmacies in Florida have now lost their licenses after the DEA was not satisfied with efforts to prevent filling of inappropriate prescriptions.

Two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, FL have earned the national company an unwanted distinction. For the first time in history, the DEA has revoked the licenses of two stores in a national pharmacy chain.

The DEA action began with an Immediate Suspension Order (ISO) issued this past February to Holiday C.V.S., L.L.C. (doing business as CVS/Pharmacy #219 at 3798 Orlando Drive in Sanford, Florida), and CVS/Pharmacy #5195, at 4369 W. 1st Street, also in Sanford.  The DEA  issues an ISO when a DEA-registered business, or individual, is considered to be an imminent danger to the public safety.

It seems both of those CVS pharmacies in Florida were considered dangerous to the public.

According to DEA spokesmen, these stores filled appoximately 20 times more pain killer prescriptions than the national average.The DEA’s investigation also shows these two pharmacies filling multiple prescriptions for “out-of- state customers.” The list of over-dispensed drugs include popular painkillers Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin.

The two CVS pharmacies alone filled prescriptions for more than 3 million oxycodone pills in 2011.

After the initial ISO was issued by the DEA in February,  CVS reportedly took steps to rectify the problems including retraining its pharmacists and cutting ties with  doctors who may have been “over-prescribing” the drugs. It wasn’t enough. The DEA says that CVS failed to stop prescribing oxycodone despite the orders, until the agency took further action 2 months later, in April of 2012.

“The Final Order issuance reflects the continued commitment of the DEA to identify and bring to light the diversion of controlled substance pharmaceutical drugs,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville in the press release issued Sept. 12, 2012. “The DEA Miami Field Division will stay the course until this diversion is no longer a problem in Florida.”

CVS is not the only Florida pharmacy in trouble for this situation. As we reported earlier this year, Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 company, was found guilty of selling excessive amounts of these drugs to four Florida pharmacies, including the two CVS stores located in Sanford. That resulted in a $34 million dollar fine against Cardinal Health,  the largest fine ever issued by the DEA. You can read more of our coverage of the Florida pharmaceutical situation in the two articles cited in the resources section at the end of this article.

"7 people die every day in Florida due to prescription drug abuse."
- DEA
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Referencing the current revocation of licenses against the two CVS pharmacies, the DEA Miami Field Division said this is a part of their ongoing efforts to combat what they consider to be a prescription drug abuse epidemic in Florida. They said that seven people die every day in Florida due to prescription drug abuse.

This report compiled by Maryanne James and David.

Resources:

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  1. […] Walgreens has challenged some of the charges, and there is a court date set for January (see DEA Revokes CVS Pharmacy Licenses in Florida). In the mean time, the DEA has announced yet another action against Walgreens pharmacies in […]

  2. […] seemed to clamp down on pain killer prescriptions, often to the dismay of Walgreens customers. Some CVS pharmacies in Florida lost their licenses to DEA actions, despite warnings that the volume of pain killers dispensed […]

  3. […] DEA Revokes CVS Pharmacy Licenses in Florida […]

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