WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The DEA announced that it is taking action against several companies over improper handling of opioids, including a Winston-Salem-based company.

The DEA said Tuesday that under the initiative “Operation Bottleneck,” they served an “immediate suspension order” and five “orders to show cause” between Sept. 25 and Oct. 20, 2023.

“These companies have a legal obligation to account for every dose and every pill to protect the safety and health of the American people,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “As we continue to face an unprecedented drug poisoning and overdose epidemic in the United States, which took 110,757 lives last year alone, DEA will continue using every available tool to prevent the diversion and misuse of opioids and other highly addictive controlled substances.”


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During the week of September 25, the DEA issued one of those “orders to show cause” actions to Inmar RX Solutions, Inc., whose headquarters are located in Winston-Salem. Inmar is one of the “largest reverse distributors in the country” handling the return and disposal of medications.

According to the DEA, “The company failed to comply with its obligation to maintain effective controls against the diversion of controlled substances. These violations include the persistent failure to properly report theft or significant loss, to timely destroy or promptly return controlled substances, and to maintain complete and accurate records.”

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An “order to show cause” is an administrative proceeding. It requires the company to demonstrate why their DEA registration should not be denied, revoked, or suspended and the company can submit a corrective action plan to the DEA. An “immediate suspension order” is issued to a DEA-registered company if it is determined that there is “imminent danger to the public health or safety” and their DEA-registration is immediately revoked.

The other companies issued “order to show cause” during “Operation Bottleneck” were:

  • Ascent Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a dosage form manufacturer
  • Quantum Commerce, LLC, a pharmaceutical distributor
  • Shrieve Chemical Company, LLC, a chemical distributor and importer
  • Atlantic Biologicals Corporation, one of the top opioid suppliers to numerous pharmacies in Houston, Texas

R&S Solutions, LLC was issued an “immediate suspension order” because, according to the DEA, it “failed to account for more than one million dosage units of oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances” and that the company had failed to maintain proper controls on “numerous” occasions.