Puerto Rico’s one of the biggest distributors of pharmaceutical drugs has been ordered to pay approximately US$ 12 million after it did not report hundreds of suspicious orders for controlled substances, according to the reports by the US Justice Department.

The update was shared by the Department on Monday. According to the latest update, the distributor Drogueria Betances, LLC, has been accused of not reporting at least 665 orders for fentanyl and more than 113 orders for oxycodone between 2016 and 2019.

The department underscored that the frequency and size of the orders were considered to be suspicious.

The company is also alleged to have broken rules hundreds of times when it comes to keeping records. It was also accused of not sending reports about its drug distribution to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the officials, the transactions involving opioids from May 2017 to July 2018 are included.

Pharmaceutical Distributor in Puerto Rico fined $12M | Credits: Google

Additionally, the company was told to make its compliance program better and report suspicious orders to the DEA. Drogueria Betances commented that it agreed to pay the fine and enhance its system for reporting the distribution of controlled substances.

However, it denied the accusations that it had an ineffective system for keeping an eye on questionable orders.

The president of the company – Juan Carlos Hernández, shared an official statement to address the issue and stated, “Over the past years, we have made million-dollar investments in technology and external advice to ensure strict compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to controlled medications.”

He added that it was the very first time that Drogueria Betances was accused of diverting produced towards unauthorized people or entities, according to the reports by the news agency AP.

When the complaint was filed?

The US government filed a complaint after the US territory, with a population of 3.2 million, saw a big increase in fatal overdoses linked to opioids. In 2017, there were 19 deaths, but by 2021, the death toll increased to 521, as per the most recent data available.


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