Pharmacy to pay $75K for failing to keep accurate opioid records

LAKESIDE, Calif. — A pharmacy in Lakeside and its owners will pay $75,000 to resolve allegations that they failed to properly account for highly addictive and frequently abused opioids, including fentanyl, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

The settlement is with Archana Corp. and its owners Rajeshbhai Zalavadiya and Ramesh Rakholia. The Archana Corp., Zalavadiya, and Rakholia do business as Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy.

The settlement arises from a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy’s opioid dispensing practices, authorities said.

In response to the Justice Department’s focus on combating the opioid epidemic, the DEA has continued to conduct inspections and audits at pharmacies throughout the Southern District of California, authorities said. Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy was one of those pharmacies.

Based on the DEA’s inventory audits, inspections, and other investigative activities, the U.S. government asserts that Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy violated the Controlled Substances Act.

The CSA applies to all registered controlled substances handlers, including pharmacies. The CSA also subjects registered pharmacies to strict requirements regarding inventory control and record keeping. Those requirements ensure that pharmacies account for controlled substances from the time of purchase until they are dispensed to patients.

The alleged violations include failure to keep accurate records associated with pharmaceutical fentanyl, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

“This settlement illustrates the United States Attorney’s Office’s continued commitment to combating the opioid epidemic on all fronts,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Part of our strategy is making sure that registered opioid handlers keep accurate records of these highly addictive and extremely dangerous drugs. All pharmacies, whether large or small, will be held accountable.”

In addition to paying $75,000 to the government, Leo’s Lakeside Pharmacy has committed to implementing new inventory control procedures to assure full accountability of all controlled substances.