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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Judge Backs DEA Against CVS

The fight continues against prescription drug abuse and misuse in Florida. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) acted correctly when they suspended the controlled-substances licenses of two CVS stores in Florida. The DEA believed that the stores had inadequately monitored oxycodone sales. Judge Reggie Walton delayed his ruling until this morning so that CVS would have ample time to appeal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This case stems from extremely high volumes of oxycodone sales at the two CVS stores, leading the DEA to suspend their licenses in February. Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., gave CVS a temporary restraining order which allowed the company to continue to fill controlled prescription drugs at the two pharmacies.

The DEA claims that the two pharmacies were “filling prescriptions far in excess of the legitimate needs of its customers”. A CVS spokesperson stated that the company had taken steps, with the DEA’s knowledge, to stop filling prescriptions from physicians thought to be prescribing controlled narcotics improperly.

The average pharmacy in the United States in 2011 ordered approximately 69,000 oxycodone dosage units, these two pharmacies, together ordered more than three million dosage units during the same year, according to the DEA. Unbelievably, the two CVS pharmacies in question are located only 5.5 miles apart.

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