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DEA Investigates Walgreens for Oxycodone Distribution

September 18, 2012

Overdoses from prescription painkillers are a fast-growing cause of death in the U.S. according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an effort to battle the prescription drug abuse epidemic, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is turning it’s focus to drug wholesalers and retail pharmacies. Last Friday, the DEA issued warrants to inspect six Walgreens Florida pharmacies on suspicion that Oxycodone is being diverted to the black market.
The Reuters article “Crackdown on Prescription Painkillers Widens to Walgreens,” provides a breakdown of the DEA’s investigation and why increased sales volume of highly addictive painkillers sparked some red flags. The article stated:

“The purchase of large amounts of Oxycodone by a retail pharmacy is indicative of a pharmacy that fills prescription issued by physicians at pain clinics and/or a pharmacy which services primarily drug seeking individuals that abuse the medication.” Read More…

The death toll from narcotic painkillers now exceeds those of heroin and cocaine combined and DEA agents are determined to stop the illegal distribution of Oxycodone. They have already suspended¬† CVS Caremark Corp and Cardinal Health Inc’s license to distribute because they believe they “failed to conduct due diligence to insure that all prescription drugs are sent only to legitimate channels.”

All DEA Registrants have an obligation to ensure that medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients, and when they choose to look the other way, patients suffer and drug dealers prosper,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark Trouville said in the email. Read More…

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