Miami, FL – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today the issuance of Orders to Show Cause (OSC) to three Walgreens Florida pharmacies: Walgreens #04727 located at 4950 S. US Highway 1, Fort Piece, FL; Walgreens #03629 located at 12028 Majestic Boulevard, Hudson, FL; and Walgreens #06997 located at 785 Lockwood Boulevard, Oviedo, FL (hereafter “Registrants”). An OSC is served as a notice to a DEA registrant to provide it an opportunity to show cause as to why the DEA should not revoke its DEA registration because its registration is deemed inconsistent with the public interest. These administrative actions do not immediately suspend a registrant’s ability to handle or distribute under its current DEA registration medications containing controlled substances such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or others listed in Schedules II – V.
“The diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances continues to be a great concern for the DEA,” Trouville said. “A DEA registration is a privilege and not a license for bad behavior. These Registrants have a responsibility to their customers, as well as to the community, to be an advocate against prescription drug abuse that has plagued Florida since 2009, and not contribute to the epidemic. The Miami Field Division will continue to work with our local and state partners to assure that all prescription drugs are getting into the hands of legitimate patients for legitimate medical needs.”
On April 4, 2012, the DEA Miami Diversion Office served an Administrative Inspection Warrant (AIW) on the Registrants, as well as on three other Walgreens pharmacies in Florida and its Walgreens Distribution Center in Jupiter. The AIW at the Walgreens Distribution Center was served to determine if the distribution center maintained a system in place that detects and reports suspicious orders to the DEA and to prevent the diversion of control substances as governed by federal laws and the Control Substance Act relating to the proper distribution of control substances. The AIWs served at the six Walgreens retail pharmacies were done so to determine if the pharmacies were dispensing prescriptions issued for legitimate medical purposes and in the course of professional practice.
On September 14, 2012, the Walgreens Distribution Center was served an Immediate Suspension of Registration. An administrative hearing is scheduled to begin on that matter on January 7, 2013, in Washington, DC.
These actions are part of the DEA Miami Field Division’s continuing efforts to combat the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and its role as a major source to other states of diverted pharmaceutical drugs. On average, seven people die every day in Florida due to prescription drug abuse, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The efforts in recent years have gone beyond arrests and criminal actions against Florida doctors, pain clinic personnel, and individually owned pharmacies that operated outside the scope of legitimate medical purposes. The DEA has utilized numerous resources to educate and work with its registrants and the public to battle this epidemic.
The Registrants may file a written request with the DEA, within 30 days after the receipt of the OSC, for an opportunity of an administrative hearing to determine whether the DEA Certificate of Registration at the Registrants’ locations should be revoked.