DEA Orders Halt to Narcotics Distribution at Florida Walgreens Facility
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 16, 2012 - The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently issued an “immediate suspension order” to halt the shipping of oxycodone and other controlled substances from a Walgreens distribution center in Jupiter, Fla.
The agency issues immediate suspension orders when they believe a drug distributor, dispensary or physician represents “an imminent danger to the public safety.”
“Florida doctors and pharmacies have come under close scrutiny for their role in the scourge of prescription drug abuse,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce.
The order is the latest DEA action against distributors and retailers of addictive narcotics. It comes shortly after two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, Fla. were barred from selling controlled substances under suspicion of dispensing excessive amounts of oxycodone.
The DEA said that six Walgreens pharmacies in Florida ordered over one million oxycodone pills per year, while the nationwide average for a pharmacy is just over 70,000 pills per year. Of the 25 Walgreens pharmacies in Florida purchasing the most oxycodone in 2011, 16 were supplied by the Jupiter distribution center.
Because of the high potential for abuse of and addiction to oxycodone, the DEA depends on drug distributors and dispensaries to carefully monitor and report any suspicious activity in this regard. The agency alleged that the Jupiter distribution center does not have an effective system for detecting suspicious drug orders, and federal law therefore required them to halt drug shipments from the facility.
Walgreens released a statement saying that it carefully monitors and reports all purchases of controlled substances. The company also said that between June, 2011 and March, 2012, the number of oxycodone pills dispensed at Walgreens pharmacies dropped by 35 percent.
The DEA order does not apply to the company's other distribution facilities, nor does it stop the Jupiter facility's distribution of non-controlled substances. However, the DEA Certificate of Registration for the Jupiter facility could be revoked at an upcoming administrative hearing, which would mean an indefinite end to distribution from there of any controlled substances.
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