Clearbrook Treatment Centers And Andrew Brown’s Drug Store Agree To Pay The United States Civil Penalties For Violations Of The Controlled Substances Act

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

HARRISBURG, PA —The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Clearbrook Treatment Centers, located in Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, and Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc., located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, have agreed to pay the United States civil penalties for their alleged failures to comply with dispensing, distribution, and recordkeeping requirements of the Controlled Substances Act.   Clearbrook Treatment Centers will pay $300,000, and Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. will pay $250,000 in civil penalties.

The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. sections 801 et seq. (CSA), was passed to combat illegal distribution and abuse of controlled substances, including prescription medications.  The CSA’s registration, dispensing, distribution, and recordkeeping requirements are designed to prevent the diversion of controlled substances for illegal purposes.  The CSA is enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division, whose mission is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs. 

The CSA regulates how medical facilities can stock and dispense, and how pharmacies can dispense and distribute, controlled substances.  The CSA also requires the maintenance of complete and accurate records of each substance manufactured, received, sold, delivered, dispensed, or otherwise disposed of.  These requirements play a vital role in ensuring the appropriate handling, accounting, and distribution of controlled substances.  The CSA provides for civil monetary penalties for violation of these requirements. 

According to Unites States Attorney John C. Gurganus, between December 2016 and April 2021, Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. dispensed prescriptions or made distributions of controlled substances to Clearbrook Treatment Centers in violation of the CSA.  During that same time, Clearbrook Treatment Centers received distributions from Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. and maintained a general stock of controlled substances for dispensing without being properly registered with the DEA.  Both Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. and Clearbrook Treatment Centers also allegedly failed to keep complete timely and accurate records of their respective distribution and dispensing of those controlled substances. 

This settlement addresses the independent obligation of Clearbrook Treatment Centers and Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. to ensure they have adequate systems in place to prevent improper distribution, maintenance of a general stock, or dispensing of controlled substances, as required by 21 U.S.C. §§ 822, 829, 842, and associated regulations.

“Both Clearbrook Treatment Centers and Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc. have fully cooperated with investigators and are working to enhance their internal compliance with the CSA,” said United States Attorney John C. Gurganus.  “Fortunately, there are no allegations that any controlled substances were diverted for illegitimate use, and both companies are taking their responsibilities seriously and being proactive to strengthen their systems to protect the proper dispensing of drugs under their control from diversion.”    

“Pharmacies and rehabilitation facilities such as Andrew Brown’s Drug Store and Clearbrook are businesses that are integral to the health and overall well-being of our communities.  As such, they are also entrusted to properly distribute and keep track of the controlled substances they maintain,” said Thomas Hodnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division.  “Civil penalties such as these help to insure adherence to the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act.”

This Settlement Agreement is neither an admission of liability by Clearbrook Treatment Centers or Andrew Brown’s Drug Store, Inc., nor is it a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.

The investigation was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard D. Euliss, Tamara Haken, and the Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit within the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the DEA Philadelphia Field Division.

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