Drug Diversion and the DEA: Lessons Learned

By David Bronstein
What do Sovah Health in Abington, Va., UT Southwestern in Dallas, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have in common? Each had multimillion-dollar fines levied against them by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for violating laws that regulate the safe handling of controlled substances (CS).

The claims against these health systems, made as recently as 2022, have a common theme: failure to prevent the diversion of prescription opioids and other CS. The cases also underscore that the DEA is not just going after community pharmacies, despite other high-profile actions against that class of trade.

“A pharmacy is a pharmacy is a pharmacy,” said Larry K. Houck, JD, a director at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. All facilities that store and dispense CS need to be vigilant about ensuring their safe use, noted Mr. Houck, who has spent more than 35 years working first as a DEA diversion investigator and now as a lawyer specializing in litigation involving CS violations.

Read Article here: [https://www.pharmacypracticenews.com/Policy/Article/05-23/Drug-Diversion-and-the-DEA-Lessons-Learned/70263]