CVS Pays $75 million for Illegal Sale of Pseudoephedrine in Stores

In recent news that our pharmacy error injury attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland have been following, CVS Pharmacy will reportedly pay $75 million for breaking the law by selling huge quantities of psuedoephedrine, the key ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, an illegal drug abused widely in California.

Psuedoephedrine, or PSE is found in specific cold and allergy medications, and necessary to produce methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant with links to crime and violence in California, among other states. In an effort to reduce pharmacy error, and production of methamphetamine, the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was introduced, to require retailers who carry PSE products to shelf them behind the counter, to check the identification of the person purchasing the drug, and to limit sales to the individual or one package a day, and three a month. Each customer is also required to sign for the purchase.

According to Thomas Ryan, CVS Caremark Chairman, the sale of the products containing PSE was an illegal and unacceptable violation of CVS’s policies, and inconsistent with the drug chain’s values. The CVS company admitted that drugstores in California and Nevada, among other states, were susceptible for over a year to criminal manufacturers who repeatedly bought enough PSE to make Methamphetamine.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated that CVS’s violations made the company directly linked to the methamphetamine supply chain, and that the company only reversed the problem once the government investigated the pharmacy violation.

CVS reportedly blamed the pharmacy error on the electronic monitoring system that was put into place to check the number of purchases made by individuals.

The pharmacy agreed to pay $75 million in fines, and forfeited $2.6 million on the PSE profits made on illegal purchases in California and other states in 2007 and 2008. This fine is reportedly the largest for a civil violation of the Controlled Substances Act— the 40-year-old law that is often aimed at drug traffickers and drug dealers on the street.

In Maryland and the Washington D.C.-area, contact our pharmacy error injury lawyers today.

CVS Will Pay Record Fine Over Sale of Drug, The Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medication Error Reports
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

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