Pharmacy and Pharmacist in Louisiana to Pay $275k in Connection with Controlled Substances Act Federal Civil Lawsuit
Louisiana – A pharmacy and pharmacist in Louisiana will pay $275,000 in connection with a Controlled Substances Act federal civil lawsuit.
United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. stated that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson accepted and entered a Stipulated Order and Consent Judgment against Stevens Pharmacy, Inc. and its owner, Steven W. Gough, of Port Allen, Louisiana. The consent judgment resolves the federal Controlled Substances Act allegations asserted by the United States in the civil action, United States of America v. Stevens Pharmacy, Inc. and Steven W. Gough, Case No. 22-414-BAJ-SDJ in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Stevens Pharmacy and Steven Gough have been ordered to pay $275,000.00 in civil penalties to the United States for alleged unlawful dispensing or distribution of controlled substances based on facially invalid prescriptions, as well as alleged failure to maintain accurate inventories of certain controlled substances.
According to the Stipulated Order and Consent Judgment, the United States claims that between January 1, 2018, and March 4, 2020, Stevens Pharmacy and Steven Gough filled 1,179 facially invalid controlled drug prescriptions. The Government alleges the following violations of the Controlled Substances Act: (a) dispensing more opioids than prescribed (including hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl); (b) filling expired prescriptions for controlled substances; (c) filling unsigned prescriptions for controlled substances; (d) filling prescriptions for controlled substances lacking required elements, such as patient addresses or prescribers’ DEA registration numbers; and (e) filling prescriptions for controlled substances
The consent judgment also requires Steven Gough to provide written notice to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) if he engages in the practice of pharmacy within the United States, as well as to consent to warrantless DEA inspections and audits for three years if he operates a pharmacy practice owned by him in any location within the United States. Mr. Gough already surrendered the DEA Registration for Stevens Pharmacy following the DEA’s execution of an administrative inspection warrant at the pharmacy on March 4, 2020.
The district court’s Stipulated Order and Consent Judgment is not an admission of responsibility or wrongdoing by Stevens Pharmacy or Steven Gough, nor is it a recognition by the United States that its claims are unfounded.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case, which was litigated by Assistant US Attorneys Chase E. Zachary and Davis Rhorer, Jr.