How much is 37,000 pills? That’s THOUSAND, and they are reportedly missing from the inventory of four CVS pharmacy stores in California. Hydrodocone is the active ingredient in most popular opioid prescription pain medications, such as Vicodin and Percocet. The drug is so popular that each pill is worth at least $10 on the street market, and oftentimes much more. Thirty seven thousand pills is therefore at least 370,000 dollars street value. CVS faces maximum fines of up to $29 million dollars for the breach in security and operational regulations for managing and filling prescriptions for the Schedule II and Schedule III hydrocodone products.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the DEA has been investigating:
This isn’t the first time CVS pharmacy has been in trouble with the DEA over alleged mishandling of addicting opioid and opiate prescription pain killers. CVS stores in Florida have been busted for improper handling of pain killers and other prescription drugs, during that states “pill mill” era in 2010-2012. The DEA has revoked licenses of CVS pharmacies before (also in Florida). The LA times article describes numerous other 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 oxycodone settlement in 2013.
- Florida pain pill problems for CVS (license revoked)
- Florida CVS Busted
- LA times on CVS hydrocodone problems, and more here
- Walgreens prior oxycodone fine and prescription pain pills problems