The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has indicated Keene, New Hampshire-based Cheshire Medical Center (CMC) will pay $2 million to resolve an alleged Controlled Substances Act (CSA) violation.
“Cheshire Medical Center’s failure to fulfill its obligations under the Controlled Substance Act enabled the theft of prescription narcotics – including powerful opioids such as fentanyl, which led to a shockingly high percentage of drugs missing from CMS’s inventory,” U.S. Attorney Jane Young said. “The failures uncovered warranted a multi-million-dollar penalty and a stringent corrective action plan This is one of the largest settlements of drug diversion claims against a hospital in the country.”
The DEA alleged Cheshire Medical Center failed to keep accurate records of controlled substances that included opioids.
“The DEA is committed to ensuring that all registrants are in compliance with the required regulations, which are enforceable through the Controlled Substances Act,” Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle said. “Failure to do so increases the potential for diversion and jeopardizes public health and public safety. DEA pledges to work with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure these rules and regulations are followed.”
The DEA began the Cheshire Medical Center investigation after a nurse stole 23 intravenous bags of fentanyl solution from an automatic medication dispensing machine. In accordance with part of the settlement, in addition to the improvements voluntarily undertaken by Cheshire Medical Center before and after the DEA investigation, Cheshire Medical Center has agreed to additional security and recordkeeping measures.