Oak Hill pharmacy suspended for improperly dispensing prescription drugs

According to today’s MetroNews, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration began raiding the Oak Hill Hometown Pharmacy this morning in Fayette County as the pharmacy faces civil charges.

Mike Stuart, the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, stood alongside DEA officials this morning at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston to announce the pharmacy has had their DEA certificate of registration suspended for prescription drug abuse.

Stuart said, “Every pharmacy that fills prescriptions of scheduled narcotics has a corresponding responsibility to assure that those prescriptions do not include unresolved red flags and are for a legitimate medical purpose.”

The suspension is based on improper dispensing from at least December 2016 to March 2019, of certain prescription drugs including Subutex, an opioid replacement.

The order said, “Pursuant to Section 303 and 304 of the Controlled Substance Act, Title 21, United State Code, Sections 823 and 824, Oak Hill Hometown Pharmacy has had its DEA Certificate of Registration suspended because it constitutes an imminent danger to the public health safety.”

Stuart’s office said the pharmacy filled approximately 2,000 prescriptions for Subutex, a widely-abused Schedule III narcotic, with numerous red flags and diversion.

The red flags according to the DEA were over half the prescriptions from an out-of-state clinic located almost 200 miles away from its 819 Main Street East location Oak Hill. The pharmacy’s customers drove long distances to obtain and fill prescriptions, in some cases more than 600 miles. Stuart also said many of those customers paid in cash.

Stuart’s office revealed more details about the prescriptions that included they were issued by out-of-state physicians and approximately 96-percent of the prescriptions were paid in chase.

The suspension of the pharmacy’s registration will continue until a final determination is reached. During the suspension the pharmacy may not fill any prescriptions for Schedule II through Schedule V narcotics.