Odessa pharmacist to pay $320,000 following DEA inspections

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:33 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - An Odessa pharmacist will be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil penalties to the United States following inspections by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas, the pharmacy Town & Country Drug, Inc. and its owner Gary Warren have entered a civil settlement to pay $320,000 in civil penalties to resolve allegations that they violated provisions of the Controlled Substances Act and the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.

In May of 2017, DEA Diversion investigators reportedly found significant discrepancies in the pharmacy’s inventory of controlled substances and found that the pharmacy was in violation of several recordkeeping provisions.

The investigators also found that the pharmacy had sold pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products without self-certifying as required by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA).

In February of 2020, investigators conducted a follow-up inspection and found more discrepancies in the pharmacy’s inventory of controlled substances.

“Pharmacies play a vital role in ensuring that opioids and other addictive drugs are not diverted and abused,” said U.S. Attorney Sofer. “This office will use all available tools at our disposal, including civil remedies when appropriate, to detect, prevent, and prosecute violations of federal recordkeeping requirements.”

“Historically, most diversion of legitimate controlled substance occurs at the retail level,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Williamson. “The DEA will continue to combat the rising tide of prescription abuse in our country by ensuring DEA-registered entities follow all requirements set forth by the law.”

According to a release, Town & Country has informed officials that it will be enhancing its recordkeeping and compliance program to fix the issues found by the DEA.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

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