DEA Takes on CVS

, Posted: Tue, February 7 2012 at 1:34 PM, Updated: Tue, February 7 2012 at 1:49 PM

Two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, Florida have been barred from dispensing certain prescription medications after a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation Saturday.

Officials said both stores are banned from distributing controlled substances like Oxycodone.

A DEA spokesperson said the decision was an administrative action and not a criminal case.

Some customers are worried that the actions taken by the government could make it harder for legitimate customers to get the pain medication they need.

"I think they're putting efforts in the wrong direction," said CVS customer Chris Parry. "I understand if the pharmacy is dispensing more than they should, but they're just going to go somewhere else."

A former CVS employee said she's not surprised by the agents' actions.

Stephanie Childs, a former pharmacy technician, said the crackdown is long overdue.

She said she questioned the thousands of drugs going out the door.

Childs said she believes the drugs went into the hands of dealers and addicts enabled by doctors and pharmacists.

"I've known this needed to be done quite a while ago," Childs said.

Childs said she worked at both of the stores that were raided.

"They're encouraged to fill the prescriptions," Childs said."The more you fill, the more hours you get for staff, the higher bonuses you get at the end of the year, and that's just the pharmacists."

Childs said the store on U.S. 17-92 had developed a reputation to be the spot for an easy score -- even by out-of-state customers.

"I call it the druggie network. More and more people know, 'I'm going to go to this store to get this filled because I can't get this filled anywhere else.' It was always cash. Ethically, I'm not a pharmacist, but as a technician, it just really made me ill," Childs said.

Childs said she tried to voice her concern to her supervisors about the thousands of pills they had been filling every week.

"I was given the response that, 'Well, I'm not the doctor. It's not my job,'" Childs said.

CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis provided the company’s response in an e-mailed statement:

“We are disappointed that the DEA has taken an administrative action to prohibit two CVS/pharmacy stores in Florida from dispensing controlled substances. CVS/pharmacy is unwavering in its compliance with and support of the measures taken by federal and state law enforcement officials to prevent drug abuse and keep controlled substances out of the wrong hands.

"Last fall, with the knowledge of the DEA, we informed a small number of Florida physicians that CVS/pharmacy will no longer fill the prescriptions they write for Schedule II narcotics. As reported by Cardinal Health, the drug wholesaler, distributions of oxycodone to the two Florida stores have decreased by approximately 80 percent in the last three months compared to the prior three months - we believe in large part due to our action.

"We are cooperating with the DEA in regard to the administrative action. Meanwhile, we remain committed to ensuring that all our customers -- including customers of the two pharmacies -- get the medications they need, including controlled substances.”

The DEA spokesperson said that the decision was an unprecedented action, but not an isolated problem.

The two stores involved are open for business, but are not allowed to dispense any controlled substances.

Leave a Comment:

Note: Comments with profanity are automatically filtered and hidden. Verbal attacks towards others via our comments section will not be tolerated.