LEXINGTON, KY. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration jointly announced today that two pharmacists in Booneville, Ky., agreed to pay the U.S. Government thousands of dollars to settle civil claims concerning the manner in which the pharmacy tracked and dispensed controlled substances.
James F. Carrico and James D. Maze, who both work at Booneville Discount Drugs, have paid the government a combined $60,000.
According to the settlement agreement, from May 2008 through September 2009, Carrico’s DEA registrant number was used to improperly dispense controlled substances on 11 occasions. The government also contends there were 21 instances where Maze’s DEA registrant number was used to dispense controlled substances without a prescription and physician authorization.
Additionally, the Carrico settlement agreement states that the pharmacy failed to track and maintain accurate inventory records of various controlled substances.
Under federal law, a pharmacist may only dispense controlled substances in accordance with a written prescription signed by a practitioner. The law also places certain restrictions and limitations on a pharmacist’s ability to fill prescriptions for controlled substances. Further, pharmacists must maintain accurate inventory reports for controlled substances.
As it relates to pharmacists, a DEA registrant number is an identification code assigned to them after they’ve been approved by the DEA to fill prescriptions for controlled substances that are written by a registered health care provider.
According to the settlement agreement, a DEA audit showed there were 65 instances where Booneville Discount Drugs failed to maintain accurate controlled substance inventory records over the course of a year and a half. The audit revealed both shortages and surpluses of controlled substances.
Controlled substances are drugs or other substances regulated by the government.
Carrico has paid $40,000, and Maze paid $20,000. This agreement is neither an admission of liability on the part of the pharmacists nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Valorie Smith represented the government in this case.