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Press Release

Long Term Care Pharmacy Settles Improper Dispensing and Recordkeeping Allegations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached a $75,000 civil settlement today with Preferred Pharmacy Solutions, LLC (PPS), a Haverhill long-term care pharmacy, in connection with the improper dispensing of controlled substances and flawed recordkeeping.

 “Whether they are retail, mail order, or long-term care pharmacies like this one, we will strictly enforce regulatory requirements for storing and dispensing controlled substances because of the potential for abuse,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Among other things, enforcement in this area limits opportunities for pharmacy employees to steal medication, which in turn prevents diversion, keeping both patients and the public safer.”

“DEA registrants are responsible to handle controlled substances and ensure that complete and accurate records are being properly kept and accounted for in compliance with the Controlled Substance Act,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Failure to do so increases the potential for diversion and jeopardizes the public health and safety. Today’s settlement demonstrates DEA’s pledge to work with our law enforcement and regulatory partners in Massachusetts to ensure that these rules and regulations are followed.”

According to the settlement, DEA conducted an audit of several drugs maintained by PPS at its Haverhill location. The government’s audit revealed discrepancies for six controlled substances, including fentanyl. In addition, PPS failed to disclose on its DEA registration renewal form that its part owner, Norman Mason, previously had his pharmacy license and DEA registration revoked. The government contends that PPS violated other recordkeeping requirements, such as failing to obtain a hard copy prescription after filling a phone order for controlled substances, filling prescriptions for controlled substances with an incorrect or inaccurate DEA registration number, and storing records off-site without the permission of DEA. 

 PPS cooperated with the DEA’s investigation and has agreed to implement a corrective action plan to come into compliance with the recordkeeping requirements of the Controlled Substance Act. PPS also agreed to permit the DEA to perform inspections of the pharmacy during the next three years without a warrant.  

 U.S. Attorney Lelling and DEA SAC Boyle made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Driscoll of Lelling’s Civil Division handled the case.

Updated June 26, 2019

Prescription Drugs