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CVS Accused of Enabling Meth Production, Fined $75 Million

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and federal prosecutors accused CVS/Pharmacy of enabling the manufacture and trafficking of meth by not doing enough to regulate the sale of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in meth production. CVS and the DEA announced on Thursday that the drugstore giant will pay a record $75-million fine to settle the case and avoid criminal drug charges.

The DEA accused CVS of thousands of violations across 25 states of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. The law requires drugstores to track customers' purchases of pseudoephedrine and regulate how often a customer purchases the drug and in what amounts. The DEA says that CVS failed to properly track and report the high amounts and frequency of 'smurfers' purchase of the drug.

Smurfers repeatedly purchase small amounts of products containing pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture meth. By failing to stop smurfers from purchasing meth, the DEA says that CVS contributed to an increase in meth production and sales.

CVS admitted to the violations, saying they occurred in 2007 and 2008, and says they have since updated their policies and procedures in order to better comply with federal law.


CVS accused of helping to fuel meth drug production, pays record $75-million fine (The Los Angeles Times)

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