Pikeville Medical Center to Pay $4.39 Million to Resolve Alleged Controlled Substance Act Violations That Allowed Drug Diversion | USAO-EDKY

Pikeville Medical Center to Pay $4.39 Million to Resolve Alleged Controlled Substance Act Violations That Allowed Drug Diversion | USAO-EDKY

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The United States Attorney’s Place of work for the Japanese District of Kentucky announced that Pikeville Healthcare Middle (“PMC”) has agreed to fork out the United States $4,394,600 in civil penalties, to solve allegations that its violations of the Managed Substances Act’s (“CSA”) recordkeeping provisions resulted in considerable diversion of risky opioids from its pharmacy.  The settlement is one of the nation’s most significant relating to CSA recordkeeping violations involving allegations of drug diversion at a healthcare facility. The settlement is the third-biggest civil penalty ever acquired from a medical center procedure beneath the CSA.

As a registrant with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), PMC experienced selected recordkeeping obligations, which integrated preserving total and accurate documents of just about every controlled material gained, dispensed, and disposed.  DEA has the authority to examine the records of registrants like PMC, to validate that their records are full, precise, and in compliance with the CSA.

In settlement files, the Governing administration contends that over a two-year period, PMC violated several provisions of the CSA relating to recordkeeping, together with by failing to maintain entire and accurate inventories and dispensing documents for Schedule II controlled substances.  The Authorities alleges that as a result of these failures, a PMC pharmacy technician was capable to divert additional than 60,000 dosage models of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone from PMC’s narcotics vault and Pyxis MedStations, from January 1, 2016, by means of September 7, 2018.  The controlled substances diverted from PMC finally were being distributed by the pharmacy technician’s husband to the neighborhood.  Both the PMC pharmacy technician and her partner have pled responsible to violating 21 U.S.C. § 846, conspiracy to distribute Plan II managed substances, in the issue of United States v. Perry et al., 7:20-cr-12. 

“As the opioid disaster proceeds to plague communities in Kentucky, hospitals like PMC have a duty and important function to perform.  They will have to ensure that controlled substances are meticulously tracked and safeguarded versus theft and reduction, so that these medications are not diverted for illegal employs,” claimed Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Lawyer for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “My business will continue to seek correct civil penalties from healthcare vendors who are careless with their recordkeeping and fall short to supply successful safeguards against drug diversion.”

“All DEA registrants, to include hospitals and health care companies, are obligated to adhere to the rigid history-preserving prerequisites outlined in the Controlled Substances Act failure to do so generally qualified prospects to the diversion of controlled substances,” said Specific Agent in Demand Todd Scott, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Division.  “The dimensions of this great displays how really serious this predicament is.  Hopefully, Pikeville Professional medical Centre will do a improved position in the long term with their document retaining and the ensuing damage inflicted on the group can be reversed.”

As element of the settlement, PMC has entered into a three-12 months Memorandum of Arrangement with DEA, which prescribes the hospital’s drug-managing duties likely forward. These measures include things like: 

  • Permitting DEA personnel to enter its registered locale at any time through typical enterprise hours with out an administrative inspection warrant, and with no prior notification to PMC, to confirm compliance with the Memorandum of Settlement
  • Conducting an inventory of find managed substances each six months and furnishing the outcomes to DEA
  • Investigating and documenting any fears about diversion, employee theft, or significant reduction of managed substances
  • Reporting suspicious controlled compound incidents to DEA on a quarterly foundation and
  • Providing required coaching on federal guidelines and restrictions pertaining to managed substances for all employees and agreement staff who have access to controlled substances.

PMC cooperated with the DEA’s investigation and self-reported the diversion.  As acknowledged in the Memorandum of Settlement, PMC took considerable methods to tackle its deficiencies in its managing of managed substances just before the settlement was entered.

A key aim of the CSA is controlling illegitimate traffic in controlled substances.  To avoid the diversion of managed substances, the CSA regulates individuals and entities that manufacture, distribute, and dispense controlled substances.  The Government’s investigation and resolution of this matter illustrates its ongoing emphasis on combating the prescription opioid crisis by making sure that opioids are not diverted.  Any person with considerations about prescription drug diversion can report them to the DEA, by submitting a tip at https://www.dea.gov/post-idea.

The circumstance was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s London Resident Office Diversion Group, with guidance from the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, and handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement segment, which include Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan Stubblebine and Mary Melton.  The statements fixed by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no dedication of liability.