SC: Drug store hit with $275K fine over 46 bottles of unaccounted for cough syrup.

Here’s why –

The owners of an Abbeville drug store have agreed to pay $275,000 after they could not account for 46 bottles of cough syrup.

Savitz Drug Store, Inc. was accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act’s requirements for recordkeeping and dispensing medicine.

The agreement is a civil action and the owners did not admit to a crime, according to a news release from the U.S. Justice Department.

The Justice Department alleged that a staff pharmacist was able to get the login and password for the pharmacist in charge to order controlled substances at least 100 times.

Also, the department said a pharmacy technician at Savitz diverted 46 bottles of promethazine with codeine for three months.

“Promethazine with Codeine is a cough syrup that can be used as the main ingredient in a drink mixture commonly known as ‘Lean’ or ‘Purple Drank,”” the news release said. “Effects of ‘Lean’ or ‘Purple Drank’ are consistent with the abuse characteristics of other opioids and result in a sedative and woozy or swooning euphoria.” says Savitz has been in business since 1986. The owner could not be reached for comment.

Involved in the investigation were the United States Drug Enforcement Agency; S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Drug Control and U.S. Attorney’s Office. The probe began in March 2022 after a routine controlled substance inspection by S.C. DHEC found Savitz could not account for approximately 22,056 milliliters of Promethazine with Codeine.

“When pharmacists fail to comply with federal law, they can put controlled substances on the street and place the public at great risk,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “Our office is committed to working with our partners to hold pharmacists accountable for their responsibilities under federal law.”

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Tags: Opioid Crisis

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