Hometown Drug in Hopewell shut down by DEA

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HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Hometown Drug, a pharmacy in Hopewell, was shut down today by the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to DEA representative Katherine Hayek.

According to Hayek, the DEA went into the pharmacy with a search warrant and an immediate suspension order, which stops Hometown Drug from being able to sell or fill prescriptions for any kind of controlled substance. The pharmacy can remain open and sell things like candles and aspirin, however.

Hayek could not give specifics on the case, but said this sort of thing happens when the DEA sees a pattern of over-prescribing, suspicious prescribing practices, and a frequency for filling drug cocktails, a drug which contains several controlled substances.

Originally, Hayek said customers who were scheduled to pick up prescriptions today are being called and told not to come in and that their prescriptions are being sent elsewhere.

However, a member of the 8News team said there has been a non-stop stream people showing up to try and pick up their prescriptions at the pharmacy. Many of the customers who show up said don’t know how or where to pick up their medication now.

One customer, Ginna Elliott, said she tried calling the drugstore before showing up, but they just hung up on her.

“I’m scared,” said Elliott said, who told 8News she depends on the pharmacy for her prescriptions. “Every medication I get, I get it once a month, every month and my due date is tomorrow and I’ll get none — and so I’m scared.”

Another customer, Shara Thomas, told 8News that the pharmacy shutting down caught her by surprise.

“I have had great experiences with them,” she said. “I was definitely coming in to get my prescription and I pulled around the corner and I was like OK what’s going on here?”

Because of this, customers are now being told to call their doctors and have their doctors send their prescriptions to another pharmacy.

According to the Department of Health, the pharmacy had been operating with its current licence since 2012.

This is a breaking story, stay with 8News for updates.

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