A pharmacy that dispenses prescription drugs to senior living communities in Connecticut will pay $150,000 to settle allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the Justice Department, Suburban Pharmacy Long-Term Care of West Hartford, CT, did not keep complete and accurate records regarding the receipt and dispensing of controlled substances and did not maintain effective controls against the diversion of controlled substances.

Suburban Pharmacy dispenses prescription drugs, including controlled substances, to about 200 assisted living communities and other long-term care facilities, group homes and in-patient facilities. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation of the pharmacy in October 2018 after a reported loss of more than 6,000 dosage units of alprazolam (one brand name is Xanax), a Schedule IV controlled substance. An internal investigation pointed to employee theft. A subsequent DEA audit of the pharmacy’s inventory of controlled substances revealed a total discrepancy of more than 22,000 doses of controlled substances. 

“Pharmacies must keep accurate records and maintain strong controls when handling controlled substances. Those that fail to do so open the door to the potential for diversion of drugs by pharmacy employees, the illegal distribution and abuse of these drugs, and a federal investigation,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John H. Durham said.