News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 07, 2010
Contact: Gordon Taylor
Number: 916-480-7200

Two Pharmacies Pay Penalties to Resolve Controlled Substance Act Claims

JUL 07 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced today the successful resolution of two separate civil prosecutions alleging violations of the Controlled Substances Act against two area pharmacies.

In the first case, the County of Sacramento Primary Care Center agreed to pay $250,000 in penalties and entered into a five-year compliance plan to settle the federal claims. According to the settlement agreement, the payment and plan resolve the United States’ claims that the pharmacy distributed or dispensed Schedule II - IV controlled substances 175 times to persons who were not properly registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration. The compliance plan with the DEA is designed to advance the pharmacy’s ability to detect and prevent drug diversion in its prescription-drug dispensing operations.

In the second case, Patterson Family Pharmacy and owner-operators William T. Bragdon Jr. and John Wong admitted to dispensing Schedule III - IV controlled substances in violation of the Act. According to the settlement agreement, the pharmacy and its owners admitted to dispensing the narcotics on over 2,000 occasions, based on Internet prescriptions for which no legitimate physician-patient relationship existed. The pharmacy and its owners agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $500,000 and have paid $300,000 of the settlement amount to date.

Announcing the settlements today, U.S. Attorney Wagner explained, “The drugs involved in these cases can have a vital role in maintaining public health. But they also have potential to cause harm if not prescribed and dispensed as required by the Controlled Substances Act. The Act’s controls on prescription writing and dispensing help ensure that a patient’s consumption of a scheduled drug advances, rather than retards that individual’s health. The results in these cases promote this important purpose.”

“Those who dispense prescription drugs are entrusted to put the health and safety of the public first, and these civil penalties serve as a reminder of that responsibility. DEA, along with its partners at every level, will continue to pursue those who violate the law,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams.

This case is the product of an investigation by the DEA. Assistant United States Attorney Kurt A. Didier prosecuted the case.

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