Costco has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay $11.75 million to resolve federal allegations that the warehouse club’s pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling prescriptions they probably shouldn’t have. [More]
It’s not uncommon for folks at federal agencies to cash in on their public sector connections by taking a high-paying job with a company they used to regulate. But when it comes to the pharmaceuticals industry’s hiring of dozens of Drug Enforcement Administration officials, the question is whether these former DEA staffers were being hired because of what they could contribute, or because it was better for the industry to get them out of law enforcement. [More]
Half the states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but the plant remains an illegal, Schedule I drug on the federal level. Five years after the governors of Rhode Island and Washington petitioned the Drug Enforcement Agency to reconsider this classification, the DEA has denied their requests. [More]
As the current opioid addiction/overdose epidemic spread out across America over the last 20 years, it wasn’t just greedy drugstore chains that turned a blind eye to fake and questionable prescriptions. A new report highlights how the company behind one of the epidemic’s signature drugs ignored warning signs of obvious illegal activity. [More]
Two years after federal prosecutors charged FedEx with being criminally complicit in the transporting of illegal drugs from online pharmacies, the case is finally going to trial. In this morning’s opening statements, lawyers for the Justice Department urged the court to not be swayed by the famous brand name on the side of the planes. [More]
CVS Health agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a years-long investigation by Rhode Island and the Drug Enforcement Administration that several of its locations filled forged and invalid painkiller prescriptions in violation of federal laws. [More]
When you think of Florida and the Drug Enforcement Administration, your head might be filled with images of cocaine-packed speedboats or propeller planes sneaking in pallets of marijuana. But in recent years, the DEA has also been focused on major drugstore chains that looked the other way as stores filled massive numbers of questionable painkiller prescriptions. Nearly three years after shutting down a pair of CVS pharmacies in the Orlando area, the company has agreed to pay $22 million to put the matter behind them. [More]
The backlash against the federal government’s surveillance programs continues. This time, the folks at Human Rights Watch have filed suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, alleging that the DEA’s bulk collection of data related to certain phone calls made by the organization runs afoul of basic protections afforded by the Constitution.
As a country, we sure do like our prescription painkillers. In fact, we like them a bit too much: Americans consume 99% of all hydrocodone drugs manufactured in the world. Prescription drug abuse — and deaths from overdose — are rampant. The DEA is hoping to stem the tide of abuse and overdose with a new rule that changes the way some painkillers are classified, and will make them harder for individuals to get.
Even though marijuana has been legalized by Colorado and Washington, and nearly two dozen states have laws protecting medical use of marijuana, you won’t be seeing it made available at your local pharmacy unless the federal government decides to legalize it. [More]
The shelves of pharmacies are full of pills, tablets, capsules, and liquids that are worth a lot of money, especially to addicts. So when more than 37,000 prescription pain pills vanish from handful of CVS stores, the authorities get involved. [More]
Earlier this summer, the Drug Enforcement Agency slapped Walgreens with a substantial $80 million settlement over allegations that the drugstore chain had allowed an ocean of prescription painkillers to hit the black market in Florida. Now, between revelations from the local police and uncovered DEA documents, the public is finally getting an idea of just how bad the problem was, and how much Walgreens turned a blind eye to illegal activity at its stores. [More]
As part of its investigation into whether chain drug stores with higher than usual sales of prescription painkillers are actually feeding those drugs to the black market, the DEA has served administrative inspection warrants at six Walgreens stores and one of the chain’s warehouses, all in Florida.
Last September’s first-ever National Take-Back Day, in which the DEA and other law enforcement agencies operate stations for people with old prescription drugs to dispose of them safely, was apparently enough of a success that the agency decided to not even wait a full year to try it again. That’s right, it’s time to bust out your National Take-Back Day decorations, along with your old Vicodin, Oxycontin and Cipro!
Have you been staring at that half-full (or is it 2/4 empty?) bottle of Vicodin sitting on your bedside table and wondering, “Should I throw this in the trash, take a bunch and pretend I’m Hugh Laurie, or sell them to some college kids for a huge profit?” If so, then the Drug Enforcement Agency has an answer: Give the pills to them during this weekend’s National Take-Back Day.