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NC pharmacy ordered to take steps to prevent drug abuse

Olga DeLawrence

A federal court has issued an order prohibiting a North Carolina pharmacy and its two pharmacists from dispensing controlled substances without taking steps to help ensure the drugs will not be abused, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

The consent decree resolves a complaint filed by the U.S. on July 7, alleging that Asheboro Drug Company and its pharmacists filled prescriptions in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, a department news release said. The pharmacy was also ordered to pay $300,000 in civil penalties, which it agreed to do.

According to the complaint, the defendants dispensed prescription opioids while disregarding numerous signs of drug abuse, drug diversion and drug-seeking behavior. As an example, the complaint said the defendants filled prescriptions for dangerous combinations of drugs sought by drug abusers and significantly increased the risk of overdose.

The complaint also alleged that the defendants would at times dispense the same or similar prescriptions for multiple members of the same family, refill prescriptions early without justification, and ignored prescriptions from doctors who repeatedly wrote suspect prescriptions.

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