Cedar Pharmacy in Fresno will pay $1 million to settle claims that it failed to properly record hundreds of prescription drug transactions, maintain complete and accurate records, and follow prescription issuance guidelines.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced the agreement Monday.
An audit and investigation into the pharmacy’s practices started in April 2013 when a drug offender on probation was found to have about $9,000 in cash and 34 prescription receipts with different patient names and addresses. All of the receipts were from Cedar Pharmacy.
The prescriptions, mainly for oxycodone, were written by Dr. Jose Luis Flores. He surrendered his medical license April 16, 2014, following a Medical Board of California investigation. Cedar Pharmacy said the prescriptions were filled a month earlier for a man who paid in cash and brought in 30 driver’s licenses.
The pharmacy also agreed to comply with a plan developed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration. Employees who handle controlled substances must immediately complete a program that trains them to detect and prevent diversion and teaches them the federal requirements that a prescription may not be filled when a pharmacist has reason to believe it was not issued legitimately.
Cedar Pharmacy could end up paying less if it completes the plan terms and has no material violations.
People can report illicit pharmaceutical activities online at DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov.