CVS Asking Judge to Prevent DEA Ban
CVS/pharmacy has asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order to prevent the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from banning two of its Florida stores in Sanford from selling controlled substances, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The DEA raided the two Sanford CVS stores on February 4, calling the CVS pharmacies on Orlando Drive and West First Street an "imminent danger" to the public. Each location was also served with an immediate suspension order. The measure against these two CVS stores is thought to be the first of its kind against a national pharmacy chain.
According to DEA officials, the average pharmacy in the U.S. ordered about 69,000 oxycodone pills last year. However, the two raided Sanford pharmacies ordered more than 3 million pills during the same time.
CVS filed its motion in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, and. a judge heard arguments Tuesday. CVS said in court that the DEA has not proved these two pharmacies pose an "imminent danger" to the public.
"DEA has not and cannot meet that standard in this case," the CVS filing said. "There is no danger, imminent or otherwise, to the public from the pharmacies' continued dispensing of controlled substances."
According to court records the matter is being taken under advisement.
The actions by the DEA against the CVS stores in Sanford were made about the same time the DEA issued an immediate suspension order against Cardinal Health, a prescription-drug wholesale distributor with a Lakeland facility. The DEA also wanted to ban Cardinal from shipping controlled substances to its customers, but a federal judge blocked that attempt after Cardinal sought a temporary restraining order, just as CVS is doing.
According to the DEA, one of the CVS stores in Sanford is Cardinal Health's top buyer.
The suspension orders filed against the two CVS stores and Cardinal Health are part of the DEA's ongoing efforts to curb Florida's prescription-drug epidemic.
To view the actual order granting Cardinal Health's motion for a temporary restraining order click here.