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DEA Revokes Two CVS Retailers’ Ability To Sell Controlled Substances

MIAMI, FL. – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today the revocation of DEA Registrations at two CVS Pharmacies located in Sanford, Florida. This action marks the first time the DEA has revoked the registration of a registrant that is part of a large national chain.

On February 4, 2012, the DEA served an Immediate Suspension Order (ISO) at Holiday C.V.S., L.L.C., doing business as (d/b/a) CVS/Pharmacy #219, 3798 Orlando Drive, Sanford, FL 32773, and CVS/Pharmacy #5195, 4369 W. 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771. An ISO is served pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 824(d) when a DEA-registered business or individual (“registrant”) constitutes an imminent danger to the public safety and DEA suspends that registrant’s ability to handle or distribute a controlled substance such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and others pending a judicial proceeding.

During the week of April 25, 2012, the two CVS pharmacy locations were given an opportunity for an administrative hearing to determine whether the DEA Certificate of Registration at each of the two locations should be revoked. On June 8, 2012, the Chief Administrative Law Judge (AJL), Judge John J. Mulrooney II, issued a recommendation to revoke both CVS Pharmacy #219 and CVS Pharmacy #5195 DEA registrations based on the evidence presented during the hearing.

On August 31, 2012, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart issued the Final Order to revoke both registrations as recommended by the ALJ. The order also denies any pending applications of Holiday C.V.S., L.L.C., d/b/a CVS Pharmacy #219 and #5195. The order is effective 30 day from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The ISO will remain in effect until then.

“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. “The DEA Miami Field Division will stay the course until this diversion is no longer a problem in Florida.”

These actions are part of the DEA Miami Field Division’s continuing efforts to combat the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and its role as a major source of diverted pharmaceutical drugs to other states. On average, seven people die every day in Florida due to prescription drug abuse, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The DEA Miami Field Division’s efforts in recent years have included arrests and administrative and criminal actions against Florida doctors and individually owned pharmacies and pain clinics that operated outside the scope of legitimate medical purposes.

More than seven million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And every day, on average, 2,500 teens use them to get high for the first time, according to The Partnership at Drugfree.org.

Other DEA Miami Field Division’s efforts go beyond regulatory administration and enforcement operations. The MFD has participated in numerous prescription drug abuse awareness seminars, as well as training and educational conferences for doctors and pharmacists. On February 28, 2011, the Miami Field Division established a 24-hour “Pill Mill” tip line, which allows callers to leave information about a doctor or clinic that concerns them. The toll-free number is 1-888-954-4662, or members of the public can send an email to Florida.Pill.Mill.Tips@usdoj.gov. In addition, the Miami Field Division has registered over 100 collection sites all over Florida for people to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs during the 5th DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day occurring on September 29, 2012. Go to www.dea.gov or call 800-882-9539 to find a collection site near you.

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