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Press Release

Pharmacy Agrees To $60,000 Settlement Relating To Controlled Substances Act Claims

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

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Rx Express of Panama City, Florida, a locally owned and operated retail pharmacy, agreed to pay $60,000 to resolve allegations that it unlawfully filled controlled substances.  Laura Ann Gould, owner of Rx Express of Pharmacy of Panama City, Inc., entered into the civil settlement agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.  The settlement was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. 

“Pharmacies play a vital role in ensuring controlled substances are properly handled, accounted for, and dispensed.  They are a critical component in guarding against the diversion of controlled substances,” said Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.  “This settlement demonstrates our commitment to holding every level of the distribution chain, including pharmacies, accountable for Controlled Substance Act violations.  Our office will continue to work to actively combat the opioid crisis in our local communities.” 

Rx Express settled potential violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by agreeing to pay a civil fine of $60,000 and entering into a compliance monitoring agreement with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for a period of two (2) years.  Under the CSA, entities registered with the DEA who purchase, distribute, dispense, transfer, or sell controlled substances must comply with strict inventory, dispensing, and documentation requirements.  Regulations promulgated under the CSA require that each DEA registrant, including pharmacies, must maintain detailed and accurate records of each substance manufactured, received, sold, delivered, dispensed, or otherwise disposed of by the registrant.  These requirements play a vital role in ensuring the appropriate handling, accounting, and distribution of controlled substances for those with legitimate medical needs, while simultaneously preventing the diversion and abuse of controlled substances.  During its investigation of Rx Express, DEA identified at least 58 prescriptions that were filled outside the course of normal practice, including high dosage, high quantity, and combination therapeutic controlled substances issued by practitioners and providers located over 300 miles away from RX Express’s registered address, without corresponding documentation.   

“One of DEA’s top priorities is to ensure all DEA registrants, including pharmacies, follow the mandates of the Controlled Substances Act, including the accurate inventorying, tracking, and recordkeeping of controlled substances.  Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to the diversion of controlled substances, which jeopardizes the safety and health of our communities” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “This settlement underscores our commitment to combat the opioid crisis by working with our regulatory partners to ensure these rules and regulations are followed.”

This civil settlement agreement is not an admission of any liability by Rx Express of Panama City, nor a concession by the United States that its potential claims were not well-founded.

Assistant United States Attorneys Marie Moyle and Mary Ann Couch represented the United States in this matter, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Program.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
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Updated October 4, 2023

Prescription Drugs