Feds Crackdown On Two CVS Pharmacies In Florida For Selling Addictive Painkillers In Exceptionally High Quantities

by Kevin on April 26, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**UPDATE** 05/15/2012

So it looks as if the DEA has reached a settlement with Cardinal Health Inc, which will suspend sales of all controlled substances for two years. Cardinal said  it would also work to improve security procedures at the Lakeland, Florida, distribution center to ensure that potentially addictive painkillers known as opioids, including oxycodone, end up in the appropriate channels. Cardinal will remain open for other medical distributions however.

Today in ARLINGTON, Va, A federal hearing began on whether to bar two CVS Caremark Corp drugstores in Florida. These two CVS drugstores located in Sanford Florida, were ranked 23rd and 37th respectively among the thousands of U.S. pharmacies for distribution of prescription pain pills, especially Oxycodone. This is part of a government crackdown that began recently, which was sparked from startling deaths from the Centers of Disease Control and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Deaths from narcotic painkillers now top those of heroin and cocaine, combined, which has pushed this prescription drug abuse epidemic to the forefront of the DEA focus.

 

A DEA investigator at today’s hearing stated, that at one of the stores locations in Sanford, would run out of Oxycodone within 30 mins of opening the store doors up at 8am. Generally however, they would be out of supply of Oxycodone between 10am and Noon. The pharmacist at this location said, if they had the inventory and man power, they could serve Oxycodone all day long. With the recent crackdown on prescription drug abuse with so many increasing deaths, the pressure on the government has forced the DEA to crackdown on monitoring drugstores. These two CVS drugstores in Sanford, which are just outside of the major city of Orlando, have been on the DEA’s radar for some time for inappropriately filling prescriptions for Oxycodone. It’s also suspected that these two CVS locations in Sandford have been filling other highly addictive controlled substances inappropriately.

CVS claims because one of these stores is located right off Highway 4 and the other is open 24 hrs a day, they receive a large volume of customers filling their prescriptions. It’s no secret, Florida has been labeled the Pill Farm of the United States, with the poorest regulation among any other state. In 2011, with mass pressure from the public, Florida began to clean up its act.

Oxycontin has been labeled the hillbilly heroin among locals because of it’s ease of availability and lack of regulation in South Florida. People all along the eastern seaboard would travel down to Broward County and visit these pill farm doctors. The doctors would issue prescriptions without hardly any question’s asked. With death’s related to Ocycontin escalating at an alarming rate, Florida enacted a law which prohibited doctors from dishing out pills from their own offices. Florida was also the first to create a database that not only monitored the amount of prescriptions a doctor was writing, but also monitored if the patient was getting multiple prescriptions from other doctors as well. With the new law in affect, Florida has seen a huge drop in controlled substance sales since last year. That does not stop addicts from looking to obtain these drugs from the street. With the more intense regulation for obtaining these controlled substances, the average street price has rose from $20 to $80 for these pills. Drug dealers are profiting more than ever because of it.

Dishing out these controlled substances is BIG money for not only CVS and other drug stores, but large distributors such as Cardinal Health. Cardinal Heath shipped of 7.5 billion pills to both of these Sanford CVS locations in the last 3 years. CVS claims their employees had nothing to gain by selling painkillers, but only to provide their obligation to the public. However, records from the DEA investigation show that at the two stores showed that they consistently were filling prescription cocktails, which are a deadly mix of oxycodone and anti-anxiety drugs and muscle relaxers ( Whitney Houston Anyone? ). The most ironic thing about the prescriptions being filled, they were with the same diagnosis of back pain. The DEA has suspended both CVS and Cardinal Healths ability to distribute any addictive controlled substances in the meantime. This is a big blow to both CVS and Cardinal as these medications provide huge profits for both parties. Of course, both companies are fighting the suspension in court which is supposed to conclude by early next week with a decision.

In the meantime however, the DEA is now focusing on six Walgreen Pharmacy locations along with it’s huge distribution center in Florida for their increase of purchasing Oxycodone.

The question i have to ask is, how long is this going to take to regulate among the US? How many more deaths with occur until then? How many people would still be alive today had this regulation started sooner?

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