Two CVS Pharmacies Caught Up In DEA Prescription Probe

Date : 02/06/2012 @ 4:23PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Cardinal Health, Inc. (CAH)
Quote : 76.6  0.0 (0.00%) @ 4:00AM

Two CVS Pharmacies Caught Up In DEA Prescription Probe

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS)
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The Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to crack down on allegedly illegitimate oxycodone prescriptions led it to ban two CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) pharmacies in Florida from dispensing controlled medicines.

The drugstore chain and pharmacy-benefits manager confirmed the DEA took action to prohibit two stores in Sanford, Fla., from distributing controlled medicines and that the ban is related to allegations that four Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH) wholesale retail-pharmacy customers dispensed the pain drug oxycodone based on illegitimate prescriptions.

The other two pharmacies are independent, Cardinal Health has said.

On Friday, the DEA suspended Cardinal Health's license to distribute controlled medicines from a Florida facility, though the company has objected to the action, saying it was being held accountable for a portion of the supply chain it can't control. A federal court judge followed late Friday afternoon by issuing a temporary restraining order that allowed Cardinal to resume shipments from that facility pending an upcoming hearing.

CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis said the drugstore chain is "unwavering in its compliance with and support of" the measures taken by federal and state authorities to prevent drug abuse. He added that the company, which is cooperating with the DEA, also is aiming to ensure customers of those two pharmacies could continue to get the medications they need.

CVS said that, with DEA knowledge, the company last fall informed a small number of Florida physicians that CVS pharmacies would no longer fill prescriptions they wrote for Schedule II narcotics. This contributed to a steep decline in oxycodone distributions to the two pharmacies in question.

Shares of CVS slid 0.6% to $43.26 in recent trading.

-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; john.kell@dowjones.com

--Jon Kamp contributed to this article.

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