Appeals Court Lets DEA Suspend Sales of Controlled Substances at Two Pharmacies

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can suspend the sale of controlled substances at two Florida CVS pharmacies. The decision lifts a temporary order earlier this month that allowed the pharmacies to continue dispensing controlled medications, the Associated Press reports.

In February, the DEA had ordered that the pharmacies suspend shipments of the drugs. The agency was concerned CVS had failed to closely monitor sales of oxycodone. Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit temporarily lifted the DEA’s suspension.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., granted CVS a temporary restraining order, to allow the company to continue to sell controlled prescription drugs at the two pharmacies.

The DEA said the two pharmacies were “filling prescriptions far in excess of the legitimate needs of its customers.” While the average pharmacy in the United States in 2011 ordered approximately 69,000 oxycodone dosage units, these two pharmacies, located about 5.5 miles apart, together ordered more than three million dosage units during the same year, according to the DEA.

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