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2 NM health care firms pay DEA settlements

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two New Mexico companies will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements following claims brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Centurion Correctional Healthcare New Mexico and Albuquerque Health Services will pay more than $200,000 each for separate alleged violations of the Controlled Substances Act, according to DOJ spokesman Scott Howell.

Howell said Centurion Correctional Healthcare agreed to a $215,000 settlement stemming from claims that the company purchased and dispensed controlled substances at the Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility in Clayton for nearly a month after the company’s registration with the DEA expired on Oct. 31, 2019.

Centurion Correctional Healthcare, which provides health care in prisons, allegedly stopped purchasing and dispensing the controlled substances when another company began providing health care in late November of 2019.

The company is also alleged to have abandoned its remaining stock of controlled substances and failed to keep proper records, Howell said.

In a similar settlement, Albuquerque Health Services agreed to a $240,000 settlement after allegedly violating the Controlled Substances Act by dispensing methadone at an Albuquerque clinic after its registration expired, Howell said.

The civil claim brought by the DOJ claims that while one of the AHS clinic’s registration expired on June 30, 2019 the clinic continued to dispense methadone until Aug. 12 of that year.

Upon payment, both companies are released from any civil or administrative monetary claim the United States has and neither company admits to liability or wrongdoing.

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