Busted. Tennessee veterinary hospital nailed by USDOJ for alleged Controlled Substances Act violations

A Tennessee veterinary practice has agreed to pay $70,000 in fines for alleged violations involving the Controlled Substances Act, a U.S. Department of Justice news release says, such as “significant shortages of various controlled substances.” Coming from the Eastern District of Tennessee (Nashville),  the investigation of Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee, including owner Gary C. Andes, DVM, have agreed to a $70,000 settlement for charges involving the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The news release says that both the DOJ along with Tennessee’s Bureau of Investigation and Department of Health were involved in the investigation, which began in January 2019 after “allegations that Dr. Andes and the hospital manager were failing to maintain effective controls and procedures to guard against diversion of controlled substances as required by law” surfaced, the news release stated. In addition:

The investigation included on-site inspections of records, and an accountability audit of controlled substance inventories and record-keeping processes at the hospital.  Based on the findings of the investigation, the United States alleged that the hospital failed to maintain complete and accurate records of the controlled substances it received, failed to conduct proper inventories of controlled substances on hand, and failed to report to the DEA known thefts of controlled substances.  The investigation also revealed significant shortages of various controlled substances received by the hospital. Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Dr. Andes and the hospital violated several provisions of the CSA from at least March 2017 through December 2018.

As part of the settlement, Dr. Andes and the hospital also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the DEA requiring that they take additional and ongoing measures to comply with the CSA, including implementing stringent inventory and record-keeping requirements, agreeing not to maintain supplies of certain controlled substances at the hospital, and agreeing to cooperate with future audits by the DEA to verify their compliance with the CSA.”

Full DOJ release