The federal government yesterday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court citing a Northeast Washington pharmacy with more than 3,600 violations of federal laws that regulate the distribution to controlled drugs.
The lawsuit asked the court to impose a civil penalty of $25,000 for each of the violations.
The case was filed against the Community prescription Center Inc., 1130 Maryland Ave. NE and its chief operating officer, Herbert L. Hunter, of 314 E St. NE.
The alleged violations were discovered during an audit of 699 prescriptions by a compliance investigator for the Drug Enforcement Administration and detectives.
During the inspection, which was conducted on the basis of a search warrant, the investigators seized pharmacy records and various controlled substances, the lawsuit said. The audit of prescriptions, which covered a one-year period beginning January 1978, centered on seven commonly abuse drugs, including Dilaudid. Percodan and Quaalude, all the which were distributed in high volume from the Community Prescription pharmacy, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, investigators found that large amounts of drugs were missing from the pharmacy inventory and that the store failed to keep adequate records of distribution of controlled drugs.
Moreover, the lawsuit said, prescriptions were filled by telephone, in violation of federal law, patients addresses, physicians registration numbers and signatures were missing from prescriptions and in some cases doctor's signatures were forged.
Neither the pharmacy nor Hunter could be reached for comment yesterday.