Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Pulls Controlled Substance Licenses from Two Central Florida CVS Pharmacies

Thursday, September 13, 2012

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revoked the registrations (controlled substance licenses) from two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, Florida, on September 12, 2012, according to a number of sources. The two pharmacies will no longer be able to fill prescriptions for drugs such as oxycodone, Dilaudid, Vicodin, Ritalin and Xanax. This decision is in response to a government crackdown on the distribution of painkillers. Sanford is in Seminole County, a suburb of the greater Orlando area.

To see the court records from this case, click here.

We've been following this story and previously blogged on this topic in our blogs on February 10, 2012, February 29, 2012, and March 7, 2012.

Two Pharmacies Filled a High Volume of Painkiller Prescriptions.

According to an article from Reuters, the DEA believed the stores, located on Orlando Drive and West First Street, in Sanford, were allegedly filling an inappropriate number of prescriptions for oxycodone and had a suspicious number of sales of other controlled substances.

In the same article, CVS argued that the large number of oxycodone and other prescription painkillers from the two stores is due to that fact that the two locations are busy stores, with one store open 24 hours a day. The DEA apparently did not accept this justification.

Click here to read the entire article from Reuters.

DEA Raided Same CVS Pharmacies in February 2012.

Back in February of 2012, the DEA raided the same two Sanford CVS pharmacies. The DEA called the pharmacies an “imminent danger” to the public and filed immediate suspension orders against both stores. I previously wrote a blog about the emergency suspension order and the subsequent request from CVS for a restraining order against the DEA. Click here to read the blog.

DEA Battles Prescription Drug Epidemic.

In a press release, a special agent in charge of the DEA’s Miami Division said the final order reflects “the continued commitment of the DEA to identify and bring to light the diversion of controlled substance pharmaceutical drugs.”

To see the entire press release from the DEA, click here.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the major newspaper in Orange County and Seminole County, this measure is thought to be the first of its kind against a national retail pharmacy chain.

In my personal opinion, if the large retail giants can’t survive such an attack, the small independent pharmacies stand little chance.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Pharmacies and Pharmacists.

The Health Law Firm represents pharmacists and pharmacies in DEA investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, administrative hearings, inspections and audits. The firm's attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Reuters. “U.S. Revoking 2 CVS Stores' Controlled Substance Licenses” Thomson Reuter. (September 12, 2012). From: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/12/us-usa-drugstores-cvs-idUSBRE88B0KN20120912

Pavuk, Amy. “Two Sanford CVS Pharmacies Banned from Selling Oxycodone, Other Controlled Substances.” Orlando Sentinel. (September 12, 2012). From: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-12/news/os-sanford-cvs-caremark-revoke-drugs-20120912_1_revokes-prescription-drug-abuse-oxycodone-and-other-prescription

Holiday CVS, L.L.C., v. Eric H. Holder, JR., et al., No. 12-5072 United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (September 11, 2012), available at https://www.thehealthlawfirm.com/uploads/CVS%20License%20Revoked.pdf.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Tag Words: pharmacy, pharmacist, pharmacy investigation, defense attorney, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation, administrative hearings, controlled substance licenses, revoked license, registration, DEA raid, prescription drug trafficking, emergency suspension order

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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