U.S. Sues to Require Pharmacy to Verify Prescriptions After Breach of Drug Diversion Laws

A Kansas City, Mo. pharmacy should be required to implement a system to verify prescriptions of controlled substances, according to a civil complaint filed by the United States Wednesday. The complaint for a permanent injunction comes after over two hundred alleged instances of the pharmacy filling prescriptions for opioids that should not have been accepted under the Controlled Substances Act.

The violations arose from prior criminal prosecutions, the complaint explained. In one instance, the pharmacy allegedly fulfilled dozens of prescriptions from one individual, who was later charged criminally. That customer had been fired by their physician, and had subseuqently forged 122 prescriptions. The requested strength increased over time, according to the complaint, even though the defendant’s staff reportedly “knew that the pharmacy had an obligation to verify with the physician when there was a change in the prescription, such as a change in strength or the quantity of dosage units.”

The complaint also recounted 125 prescriptions purported to be from the same doctor that the government said were forged. The complaint also noted that almost all of the rpescriptions were paid for out-of-pocket, without insurance, and called for amounts of opioids well in excess of guidelines for prescribed pain control.

The government is seeking an injunction against the pharmacy, barring them from dispensing controlled substances until they implement either manual review of DEA numbers associated with prescriptions, or a software equivalent, which the complaint says is available for free.