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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kingsport Pharmacist Agrees to Pay $100,000 in Civil Penalties to Settle Alleged Violations of The Controlled Substances Act

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – P&S Pharmacy, a retail pharmacy in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Lowell Grizzle, the pharmacy owner and a licensed pharmacist, have agreed to pay the United States $100,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that P&S Pharmacy and Grizzle violated the Controlled Substances Act.  To prevent the diversion or misuse of controlled substances, including certain prescription drugs, the Controlled Substances Act requires persons and companies involved in the chain of distribution to maintain complete and accurate records relating to the controlled substances they receive and dispense. 

The United States alleged that in November 2014 an accountability audit of P&S Pharmacy by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) uncovered multiple record-keeping violations.  Specifically, the United States alleged that P&S Pharmacy and Grizzle failed to maintain complete and accurate records with respect to several Schedule II controlled substances as required by the Controlled Substances Act and failed to note the date and quantity of controlled substances that were received. 

U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey said, “Given the severity of the opioid crisis in East Tennessee, it is imperative that pharmacies maintain accountability by keeping accurate records and ensuring that prescribed opioids do not fall into the wrong hands.  Retail pharmacists and other professionals who fail to fulfill their legal obligations to keep a responsible account of these dangerous drugs increases the risk of diversion, which contributes to this crisis.  This settlement is a clear message that the U.S. Attorney’s office is looking to those responsible for safeguarding and distributing prescription medication and will strictly enforce the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act.”

D. Christopher Evans, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Louisville Field Division, also commented on this case, stating, “The consumption of opiates being distributed for non-medical reasons continues to be a major concern. Consequently, DEA Diversion Investigators will continue to conduct accountability audits to make sure that pharmacies and other healthcare providers are abiding by specific rules and regulations. This civil fine shows that DEA and the entire law enforcement community are committed to making sure that such companies are abiding by its mandates.”

This settlement is the result of a joint effort by the DEA Diversion Control Division, Knoxville Resident Office, Diversion Group, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica R. Sievert and Robert C. McConkey, III, represented the United States.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. 

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Contact: 
Sharry Dedman-Beard Public Information Officer 865.225.1671 sharry.dedman-beard@usdoj.gov
Updated April 26, 2018