Howe's must pay $50,000 fine

Howe's Pharmacy, Milford's long-time downtown pharmacy, must pay $50,000 to resolve allegations that the company violated portions of the Controlled Substances Act.

Howes was one of two pharmacies that Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, named in a press release regarding the Controlled Substances Act. Nelson's Pharmacy of Naugatuck also has entered into a civil settlement with the government to resolve allegations that they violated provisions of the law. Nelson's Pharmacy has agreed to pay $40,000.

The allegations against Howe's Pharmacy, located at 78 Broad Street in Milford, include claims that pharmacists filled prescriptions without making sure the prescriptions were issued for a medically appropriate reason, failed to verify that prescriptions issued for Schedule II controlled substances contained the signature of a prescribing physician, failed to ensure that a filled prescription contained the DEA number of the authorizing medical practitioner, filled a prescription for “office use” rather than issuing a prescription to an identifiable person and, in several instances, filled a postdated prescription.

The allegations against Nelson's Pharmacy, located at 153 Maple Street in Naugatuck, include the failure to insure that prescriptions it filled contained an authorized practitioner's DEA number, and the failure to account for accurate inventories of Oxycodone 10 mg. tablets, Oxycodone 15 mg. tablets, Oxycodone 30 mg. tablets and Endocet 10/325 tablets.

Congress, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, took steps to attempt to create “a closed system” of distribution for controlled substances in which every facet of the handling of the substances, from their manufacture to their consumption by the ultimate user, was to be subject to intense governmental regulation, according to the US Attorney's office.

The investigation was conducted by investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control in Rocky Hill, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Drug Control Division.  The prosecutions were led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Soloway.