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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2003

Nutrition Chain Barred from Selling Ephedrine-Based Chemicals

Warwick, RI…A Warwick-based sports nutrition company, is permanently barred from selling ephedrine-based chemicals that are regulated by the DEA.

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; and United States Attorney Margret E. Curran announced today that in a settlement with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney, Fitness Technologies, Inc., a Warwick-based sports nutrition company, is permanently barred from selling ephedrine-based chemicals that are regulated by the DEA. The company will also pay a $15,000 civil penalty to settle a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of the DEA after agents found that the store was selling Vasopro, an ephedrine-based expectorant, without DEA approval. The agreement was reached in late February. It settles a civil complaint filed against the company in November.

Fitness Technologies is a retail, wholesale, and mail order business based at 380 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. It also has stores in other locations, including North Providence and Seekonk.

In March 2002, DEA agents seized 39 bottles of Vaspro from Fitness Technologies. Vasopro is a combination of ephedrine and guaifenesin that is used as an expectorant and bronchodilator. DEA Diversion Program investigators determined that Fitness Technologies had been purchasing and distributing the ephedrine-based product after the firm's registration to do so had expired in 2001.

In November 2002, the U.S. Attorney filed a civil complaint on behalf of DEA against Fitness Technologies, alleging that the company and its officers and agents had negligently and recklessly disregarded and violated the federal statute governing the distribution of regulated chemicals. The agreement filed last month settles that complaint.

Contact: Anthony J. Pettigrew 617-557-2138

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