WHITESVILLE, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Mountaineer Drug, Inc. (“MDI”), which operated a pharmacy in Whitesville, Boone County, has agreed to pay civil monetary penalties to resolve allegations that the pharmacy violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by filling illegitimate prescriptions.
MDI ceased operations at the Whitesville location in October 2019 during the course of the federal investigation. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, MDI agreed to pay $250,000 to resolve allegations that from in or about January 2015 to in or about January 2019, the pharmacy filled prescriptions for Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances from the Whitesville location that were not valid.
The United States contends that during this time MDI filled these prescriptions “knowing or having reason to know that they were not written for a legitimate purpose in violation of 21 C.F.R. §§ 1306.04(a) and 1306.06 and 21 U.S.C. § 842(a)(1),” according to the settlement agreement. The CSA prohibits the distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance without a valid prescription.
A valid prescription for a controlled substance must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his or her practice. Based on the investigation, the United States maintains that MDI’s pharmacists knew or had reason to know that patients had presented illegitimate prescriptions that should not have been filled.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of West Virginia is committed to putting an end to drug diversion and to working with our partners at DEA and HHS-OIG to hold all DEA registrants accountable,” said Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston.
“As our nation reels from a staggering rise in overdose deaths, the Drug Enforcement Administration remains committed to stopping those unscrupulous medical professionals who put personal greed above patient care,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott, head of DEA’s Louisville Division.
“Pharmacists play an important role in health care and are expected to review prescriptions carefully,” said Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG). “We will continue to work with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA to investigate allegations of illegitimate prescriptions.
The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Alan G. McGonigal and Gregory P. Neil.
The settlement is a result of the United States Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Abuse, Recovery and Response Team (ARREST), an innovative approach linking civil and criminal enforcement efforts together in a comprehensive attack on the opioid epidemic and healthcare fraud.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.