The Company that Ships Drugs to Pets without Vet Orders Will Have to Pay $23 Million!

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Race Day LiveAn Ohio-based veterinary prescription drug company, Covetrus North America LLC, has reached a significant legal settlement, agreeing to pay more than $23 million in criminal fines and forfeitures following allegations of unlawful distribution of prescription drugs.

The charges stem from accusations of criminal misbranding, with Covetrus accused of shipping over $20 million worth of prescription drugs to unauthorized end-users between March 2019 and December 2021. These shipments, originating from non-pharmacy locations across the United States, were deemed unlawful under federal regulations governing the controlled distribution of prescription medications.

As part of the settlement agreement, Covetrus will forfeit $21.5 million and pay an additional $2 million in fines, with $1 million allocated to the Virginia Department of Health Professions. The company is slated for sentencing on May 8th, pending the finalization of the agreement.

The case underscores the importance of regulatory compliance in the distribution of prescription drugs, particularly within the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. By circumventing established protocols and shipping medications to unauthorized recipients, Covetrus compromised the integrity of the controlled drug distribution chain, posing potential risks to both animal health and public safety.

The Company that Ships Drugs to Pets

In response to the settlement, U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh emphasized the government’s commitment to holding corporations accountable for violations of federal laws designed to safeguard public health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, in conjunction with the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Health Professions, spearheaded the investigation leading to Covetrus’ indictment.

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Moving forward, Covetrus is obligated to implement stringent compliance measures to prevent future violations and ensure adherence to regulatory standards governing the distribution of prescription drugs. The case serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the consequences of regulatory non-compliance within the pharmaceutical industry and underscoring the importance of maintaining robust oversight to safeguard public health and safety.

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