09/12/2012 06:59 am ET Updated Nov 12, 2012

DEA Pulls Drugstore Licenses Of 2 Florida CVS Stores Over Claims They Were Inappropriately Filling Prescriptions

Sept 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration decided to revoke the controlled substance licenses of two CVS Caremark Corp drugstores in Florida following a government crackdown on potentially addictive painkillers, especially oxycodone, according to a court filing.

The DEA has alleged that the two stores, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Orlando, were inappropriately filling prescriptions for oxycodone, which can be highly addictive, and also had suspicious sales of other controlled substances.

However, CVS has contended that the high volume of oxycodone and other prescription painkillers from the two stores arose because they were busy pharmacies, being close to Interstate Highway 4, with one store operating 24 hours a day.

The license revocation will take effect after 30 days from the date of order's publication in the Federal Register, according to the filing.

At the request of CVS Caremark lawyers, DEA has agreed to redact any confidential company information prior to the publication of the order in the Federal Register, the agency said in the filing.

CVS could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

The DEA has increased its focus on drug wholesalers and pharmacies as it tries to battle what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call a prescription drug abuse "epidemic."

Deaths from narcotic painkillers now top those of heroin and cocaine combined.

The case is Holiday CVS LLC v. Justice Department et al in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, No. 12-5072, consolidated with Case No. 12-1128.



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