Meriden Pharmacy Settles Controlled Substances Act Allegations
(STL.News)Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that GRAEBER’S PHARMACY, INC., of Meriden, and its owner, ROGER DeZINNO (collectively, “Graeber’s Pharmacy”), entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal government to resolve allegations that it violated civil provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
In 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted an audit of Graeber’s Pharmacy, located at 172 West Main Street in Meriden, and discovered a shortage of more than 2,000 tablets of various controlled substances. It is alleged that the pharmacy failed to keep complete and accurate records regarding the receipt and dispensing of controlled substances, and failed to maintain effective controls to guard against the diversion of controlled substances. It is further alleged that Graeber’s Pharmacy failed to timely report a theft or loss of controlled substances to the DEA within one business day of discovery, failed to maintain a complete and accurate biennial inventory, failed to properly complete DEA 222 Order Forms, dispensed seven prescriptions for controlled substances under a different physician name and/or DEA registration number than written on the prescription, and dispensed one prescription for a controlled substance without the prescribing physician’s DEA registration number.
As part of a civil settlement agreement with the government, Graeber’s Pharmacy has agreed to pay penalties of $16,800, plus interest. Graeber’s Pharmacy has also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the DEA that requires the pharmacy to hire an independent third-party pharmacy consultant.
Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) to combat the illegal distribution and abuse of controlled substances, including prescription medications. Under the CSA, entities registered with the DEA who purchase, distribute, dispense, transfer or sell controlled substances must comply with strict inventory and documentation requirements. Regulations promulgated under the CSA require that each DEA registrant, including pharmacies, maintain complete and accurate records of each substance manufactured, received, sold, delivered, dispensed or otherwise disposed of by the registrant for two years. These requirements play a vital role in ensuring the appropriate handling, accounting and distribution of controlled substances.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Gruber.