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Press Release

Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, P.C. and Dr. Russell A. Hudgens to Pay the United States $74,000 in Civil Penalties

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

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore, of the Southern District of Alabama, announces that Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, P.C. (AOC) and Dr. Russell A. Hudgens, have agreed to pay $74,000 to settle civil allegations that they violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  AOC, an orthopaedic clinic located in Mobile, Alabama, also operated a Workers’ Compensation Pharmacy (Pharmacy), where Dr. Hudgens served as the registrant with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Congress passed the CSA to combat the illegal distribution and abuse of highly addictive and dangerous controlled substances, and requires individuals and entities, such as Dr. Hudgens and AOC, who are registered with DEA, to maintain complete and accurate records of all controlled substances.  The CSA is enforced by the DEA’s Diversion Control Division. 

“Failure to maintain proper records of narcotics like oxycodone and hydrocodone contribute to the opioid crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Moore.  “Our Office is committed to ensuring total compliance with the Controlled Substances Act, and we will vigorously enforce violations wherever we find them.”

The United States alleges that between January 1, 2019, and August 5, 2019, AOC and Dr. Hudgens violated the CSA by failing to make a complete and accurate record of all controlled substances on hand at the time the Pharmacy began dispensing and every two years thereafter, failing to maintain complete and accurate records of each controlled substance received, sold, delivered or otherwise disposed of, and failing to record dates and quantities of controlled substances as they were received. 
“Today’s settlement highlights DEA efforts to ensure that our pharmaceutical drug supply system remains in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act,” said Clay Morris, DEA Assistant Special Agent In Charge for the Birmingham Field Office.  “Securing our nation’s pharmaceutical drug supply is of critical importance in our fight against the opioid epidemic and drug addiction.  Proper record keeping of controlled substances by DEA registrants is a major responsibility to ensure the safety of our communities.  DEA’s Diversion Control Program is unwavering in their commitment to maintain a safe, secure and accountable drug supply system.”

The investigation and settlement were conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama and DEA’s Mobile Field Division.  The United States recognizes the investigative cooperation of AOC and Dr. Hudgens, including the voluntary closure of AOC’s Pharmacy. The CSA claims settled are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

Updated July 20, 2020