April 16, 2014  Last Update: April 16, 2014, 11:28 am

Walgreens Pharmacy in Florida Focus of DEA Action for Pain Pills

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has visited 6 Walgreens Pharmacy locations in Florida plus a distribution center in Jupiter, while investigating an increased volume of oxycodone distribution in South Florida.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to investigate prescription pain medicine diversion in South Florida, inspecting six Walgreens pharmacies and a distribution warehouse in Jupiter, Florida, according to widespread news reports. The action is reported to be a regulatory investigation, not a criminal investigation.

The Miami Herald reports that in the past, Walgreens pharmacies had earned a reputation among pain clinics and questionable high-volume pain pill consumers as an unfriendly pharmacy for doctor shoppers and pill mill customers:

In 2010, undercover agents investigating a West Palm Beach clinic overheard nurses coaching pill-seeking patients to avoid bringing their prescriptions to Walgreen stores, court records show. “Do not go to Walgreens,” the nurse instructed the patients. “I can’t say this enough. They are not your friend. They are the enemy.”
- Miami Herald

Walgreens may have picked up a larger market share of pill shoppers since then, as the DEA records suggest Walgreens has become a major distributor of oxycodone in Florida over the past 3 years:

Walgreen pharmacies now account for 53 of the top 100 retail sellers of oxycodone in the state, according to an affidavit filed in court by the DEA. Three years ago, no Walgreen pharmacies were among the top 100 sellers of the drug.

WPTV listed the following 6 Walgreens pharmacies as the focus of this regulatory investigation:

  • Walgreens Distribution Center: 15998 Walgreens Drive, Jupiter, FL 33497
  • Walgreens #04391, 2501 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34981
  • Walgreens #04727, 4950 S. US Hwy 1, Fort Piece, FL 34982
  • Walgreens #03629, 12028 Majestic Blvd., Hudson, FL 34667
  • Walgreens #03836, 9332 US Hwy 19, Port Richey, FL 34668
  • Walgreens #03099, 1525 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33907
  • Walgreens #06997, 785 Lockwood Blvd., Oviedo, FL 32765

Other Florida pharmacies such as CVS Pharmacy and Cardinal Health  have been investigated by DEA for high volumes of oxycodone and other prescription pain medications in the recent past. Despite attempts by the DEA to shut down Florida pharmacies for inadequate care in managing their pain pill prescription responsibilities, most have succeeded in obtaining court orders which allow them to stay open and continue fulfilling narcotic prescriptions.

Selected References:

Comments

  1. Cindy Martin says:

    walgreens doesn’t write the scripts. They fill them. Why aren’t they looking at the doctors writing the scripts. I thought the job of a pharmacy was to fill them. Or are you saying they are mean about filling them. If so maybe they know something you all don’t and should.

    • Katerina Canyon says:

      Walgreens isn’t in trouble for dispensing pills to its patients. They are accused of diverting pain pills into the black market.

  2. Robert Arciola says:

    Bull…I know personally the Walgreens here in the Hallandale – Hollywood Florida area dispense these meds with an eye dropper.

    Why aren’t the DEA looking at these “mom & pop” pharmacies that are charging up to 2000% the retail price of Walgreens & CVS for these drugs.

    The only people that can afford to buy in these drug stores are drug dealers and I have witnessed it. These people (the private pharmacists) are drug dealers with licenses.

    • Kaaren Miller says:

      You are absolutely right… they are the ones that are supplying the drug dealers and not the people with the real issues and who need them to function!!!!!!!! This DEA shit is bull!!!!!!!!!! they are going after the only pharmacy’s who took insurance and would fill for the real people!!!!!!!! When they should be going after the mom & pop Pharmacies that are causing the drug problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because of this I can no longer get out of bed in the morning to take care of my children or finish my degree in college!!! This is unfair and BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Katie G. says:

    I’m not sure why Walgreens is being scrutinized for dispensing a large number of this medication…shouldn’t the DOCTORS that are prescribing this ungodly amount of pain medication? As a pharmacy, their pharmacists and technicians are trained to fill a prescription. And as far as I know, it is illegal to “pick and choose” which prescriptions they want to fill. If they have that medication in stock, they fill it, as they should. It’s the doctor’s responsbility to determine what is neccessary for the patient to be prescibed and how much – not the pharmacist’s. If they were doctor’s – they wouldn’t be working at Walgreens.

    • Larisa T says:

      Haha you are correct Miss! I couldn’t agree more :)

      • Kaaren Miller says:

        That is exactly right!!!!!! They are profiling people and their Prescriptions!!!!!!!!! And blaming the DEA!!! I’m pretty sure thats illegal!!!!! Those doctors who were giving outrageous amounts to people are the real People who Screwed this for the true patients!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Don Hartley says:

    This entire ordeal has only made those of us who are prescribed this medicine legitamently
    Suffer. For the for years, I’ve brought the same prescriptions, written by the same physician , to the same Walgreens pharmacy and suddenly, as of a week ago, they will not fill mine. I’ve gone out I my way for four years to use reputable pharmacys and kept the same doctor l, all I order to NOT be associated with the “junkie” element that happens to reside in the Tamap area only to be treated just like one of them now. I can’t find a pharmacy in Tampa thy will even have talk to me once they see my scripts. Yet, the addicts are still just as high as before… Good job DEA, for accomplishing nothing positive… As usual!

    • Larisa T says:

      You are so right. It’s shocking that the pill mill clinics don’t get shut down. When a true pain sufferer is trying to fill their legitimate prescription from a legitimate doctor for legitimate ailments and they are not only scrutinized but to be refused service. . . That’s only hurting the sick! Yet, the drug dealers have an unlimited supply and the junkies keep getting high somehow. It’s disgusting how these regulations have hurt the ones that are hurting the most. Catch 22.

    • Kaaren Miller says:

      I have been filling with Walgreens for over 10 yrs same as you same doctor, prescriptions, and pharmacy for over 10 yrs and all of a sudden I’m talked to like I’m a Junkie!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is the DEA going to deal with all the people going to the hospitals due to pain and withdrawals. Or are they instructed to turn people away and talk to them like junkies too?????? And yes the junkies are still getting their’s du to the dealers being able to pay 2-3 thousand $ from the mom & pop shops selling nothing but legal drug dealers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they are

  5. What a bunch of bullsh*t- i have been in my 2nd car accident (2nd time hit at red light) AND WALGREENS WOULDN’T FILL MY hYDORCODONE 10MG ONLY WITHOUT TYLENOL. I AM IN LOTS OF PAINBECAUES I STILL DRAG MY ASS TO WORK SO I DON’T HAVE TIME TO PHARMACY SHOP. FU DEA I HOPE UR KIDS GROW UP TO BE CRACKHEADS BECAUSE IT’S NOT RIGHT TO PUNISH THE INNOCENT – IN SOUTH FLORIDA AND LOOKING TO NOW BECOME AN ALOCHLIC OR OFF MYSELF. THE ACCIDENT WASN’T EVEN MY FAULT AND I AM STILL BEING PUNISHED. PLEASE DEA PULL ME OVER IN MY CAR AND F*CKIN SHOOT ME, JUST END THE PAIN I AM IN

    • Kaaren Miller says:

      I’m feeling ya BUDDY!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m a mother of 3 little ones and was in 5 car accidents none of them my fault!!!!!!!!!! My body is basically crumbling and I’d rather die fast and easy then like this and slow!!!!!!!!
      I called the DEA and asked them WTF was the deal and they said WE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!!!!! F*CKING LIERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I have never had a problem getting my pain meds filled at walgreens. I do not abuse my medications, and have been getting them from Walgreens since June of 2011. This month, I cannot get my Mophine Immediate release filled, I was yelled at by a pharmacist that said “He doesn’t want he government watching him and doesn’t want to lose his license”. I understand that there are people that abuse the Pain meds, but when you have been a regular customer, why am I getting denied? My doctor switched it to Dilaudid 4mg. which I have never taken and I got “I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE FILLING THIS” i AM IN A WHEELCHAIR, I SAID TO THE PHARMACIST, DO YOU THINK I FEEL COMFORTABLE?’ They take the s/elieve this, that I am being punished, when my prescriptions have my Diagnosis written right on them. I am going to my family physician tomorrow and then after that back to my pain management doctor, and have him give me back the prescription for the Morphine Sulfate 30 mg immediate release. And hopefully will be able to get it filled. I don’t think that everyone should be punished because there are drug addicts out there, especially when they know me by name, my regular walgreens said it may take 2 weeks to get the Morphine sulfate 30mg imm rel. I guess I will just get my doc to give that script back to me and wait, there is nothing else that I can do at this point. I just wanted to put my two cents worth in,,,,,but I went to 12 Walgreen’s and was told 12 different things trying to get my Morphine filled. I have now printed out my record from walgreenshealth,com that I will carry with me, when I go to get it filled in a few more days to one more week. Good luck to those of you who rely on these medication for a decent quality of life, at this point I am back in a wheel chair…real nice….thanks FLORIDA….this is a State with the most ederly and Cancer patients, I think and that is not right, not fair, to cause harm, because they do not feel comfortable filling my prescription.

  7. Back2beingSuicidal says:

    I live in NE georgia and I have been using a private physician for 3 years to get my oxycodone 30mg. I have filled at same walgreens for over 2 years and my doctor is fucking 2 miles down the road from them! She told me yesterday that their facility was shut down in florida and that that facility supplies all of the walgreens in the southeast.. she said no more hydromorphone…no more oxy.. no more morphine..nothing if you live in southeast.. She said they had a secondary distribution center but have not received one shipment of oxycodone in over 8 weeks. Now I am back to being depressed and suicidal. I am in so much pain I litterally pray to be shot or hit by a car.. 15 years of chronic pain..I cant take it anymore. The dea shut down my last pain clinic in georgia before I found a private doc to help me, now they do this. This is just too much. If it werent for my religious beliefs I would have already fucking killed myself. I swapped my script for 4 mg dilaudid and drove to 16 pharmacies and finally a cvs filled it after giving me the stinkeye and calling my doctor etc etc..you know the drill. The dilaudid feels like a 10mg oxycodne and wears off in 1 hour. aaahaaahhhhhhhh FUCKING DEA I HOPE YOU ALL BURN IN HELL FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO LEGIT PATIENTS!

  8. We are all just sitting here in pain,and not one of us can do a thing about it. Eleven years ago my husband shot me with a nine millaminer hollowpoint in my left shoulder/chest then shot himself in the head and died. It DESTROYED my left upper side leaving me with very limited use of that side/arm /shoulder. Not to mention what that did to my mind/nerves. I was put on the heaviest they had once getting out of the ICU after 3 weeks. Since I went down to the lowest I could be on without being in screaming pain,only to get smashed by a drunk driver four years later on the same side. I had no choice but to go right back up to the doses I was originally on. I once again went down as low as I could. As fate would have it I got pregnant with my 1 and a half yr old son when I was 31,I”m 33 now. I tried to stay down on the meds but was threatened by DCF that if I didnt take my meds as directed they would take my son who is my life away from me. Being a single mom with no help with my son turned out to be harder than I ever could of imagined. The more he grew the worse my pain got till around 4 months ago I dropped unconsicious. The doctors came to the conclusion that I am going unconcious from the pain when I turn a certain way,which amplifies the pain I’m already ALWAYS in. I’m now ordered by my doctor which called DCF that I cannot pick up my son or drive a car,for the safty of others. I’m 33 and this is my everyday life. I know each one of us has our own pain and problems.We can’t just keep writing to each other.One thing Ive learned in the past 11 years is NOTHING gets done unless I push for it to get done. I cant be the ONLY person in unbearable pain that feels this way. Im praying theres others out there. With enough of us we will HAVE TO BE HEARD

  9. Any Help or Anyone else just fed up and is ready yo make a stand or AT LEAST TRY

  10. May your mothers,fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wifes,brothers, sisters, all die a slow painful miserable death. All dea personal and bogus ass Walgreens pharmists? Any pharmists who will let some one go into withdrawals after years of being on pain killers. We as a country have the nerve to interfere in other countries and preach human rights. Fuck all of you and die bitches

  11. wow it’s amazing how the almighty dollar has affected so many. Pharmaceutical corporations are your legal drug dealer. So many weak people. Narcotics are for end of life

  12. SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME BECAUSE SOME ASSHOLE ABUSE THEE MEDICATION AND NOW WE CAN NOT FILL ANY MEDS AT WALGREEN OR CVS I HAVE A BAD BACKAND ARTHIS AND I TAKE OXCODINE 10 AND SOMETIMS 30 AND IAM A AFRICAN AMERICAN AND NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS AND FOR YOU TO SAY THAT IS NOT RIGHT I AGREE THER ARE DOPE DEALER MAKING MONEY OF F OF THIS DRUG NOW THE HOT COMMOIT IS OXYZ BLUE AND YOU CAN NOT FIND A PHARMAACY TO FILL THAT IF YOU DO GOOD LUK WITH THAT

  13. I really hope people are still reading the comments on this site. I found a petition we can sign to address the issues of us legitamate pain patients not able to fill our scripts due to pharmacies not having supply in stock. Go to http://www.change.org and sign the petition PLEASE thats the only way we will be able to be heard! It only takes a few mins. of your time,but if you dont, nothing will be changed and I know theres alot of people hurting out there myself included! We only need 500 more signatures! Please everyone help make the change!!!

  14. Nancy HM says:

    I can tell you as someone who has suffered with severe arthritis for over 13 years that Mon and Pop pharmacies are the only place I will ever go to get my much needed pain medications. I have had 4 much needed back surgeries in the last 3 years. My back is crumbling and has broken on its own, with just me softly walking across my livingroom and diningroom floor. I’ve tried to deal with Walgreens and I just can’t get my much needed medications due to the DEA and the Federal government. I am stuck in bed 98 percent of the day because I can’t sit, stand or walk and I’m not allowed to get my medications from any pharmacy??? I think not. I worked like a dog all my life and will not take anyone telling me I can’t have my medications when they are prescribed by a qualified Rheumatologist. These doctors are absolutely terrified to prescribed because of pill mills and they are the one the DEA needs to go after not pharmacies and honest doctors who just want to help real chronic pain patients who have a certified medical condition. I belong to several chronic pain websites and its just heart breaking to read all the people who have real medical conditions who can’t get their medications because of doper’s. Go after the criminal and stop making patients feel like criminals. I was drug tested last week at my regular Rheumatologist appointment even though I only feel and broke my back two weeks before and was in the hospital for a week. I had to get out of my wheelchair to do this. I felt like a real criminal and I am not one.

  15. These drug companies have enslaved a lot of people with the pain killers, and the help of doctors prescribing them to everybody. The more you get, the less they work and the more your body thinks it needs them. Pain is pain… researchers have NEVER been able to quantify pain because it’s unique in every person. Who can say MY pain is not “real”? It’s as real as it feels TO ME, plain and simple.

    • You are correct sir. Pain is real. People deal with it differently, and feel it differently. Sometimes a person can learn to manage it, and even make it go away, and other times it is so agonizing you want to die to stop it.

      A medical detox can reset the body for pain. Detox can sometimes remove the need for strong painkillers. At the very least getting detoxed resets your need for excessive levels of pain killers, so you can re-evaluate (with a doctor) how to handle the pain you have. I strongly recommend it.

      In Florida go to Sunrise Detox they are great people and know the truth. They help a lot of people. Ira is a great person and knows what’s up.

  16. Why would big pharm give walgreen or cvs pain meds when they can sale them to mom pops store for hundreds of dollars, its all about money it alway is

Trackbacks

  1. [...] who was referred to as “Dr. Feel Good” for her painkiller prescribing practices. Both Walgreens pharmacy in Florida and CVS pharmacy in Florida have been subjected to DEA scrutiny for pain killer prescribing [...]

  2. [...] Walgreens Pharmacy in Florida Focus of DEA Action for Pain Pills [...]

  3. [...] supplier of oxycodone to retail pharmacies in the State of Florida”. We reported earlier on DEA investigations into the Jupiter distribution center and noted how Walgreens seemed to clamp down…, often to the dismay of Walgreens customers. Some CVS pharmacies in Florida lost their licenses to [...]

  4. […] problems in Oklahoma, where a CVS subsidiary is reported to have paid an $11 million dollar fine. Walgreens pharmacies in Florida have also been the target of investigations by the DEA. Walgreens paid a record $80 million […]

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