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CVS stores in California under investigation for missing narcotics

CVS Stores in California Under Investigation for Missing Narcotics

Four CVS stores are under federal investigation after a considerable amount of prescription narcotics allegedly went missing. HLN has more.

'How do you lose more than 37,000 painkillers? The DEA says that that many hydrocodone tablets are missing right now from four CVS stores in northern California.'

Due to the differences between CVS's records and its inventory of the prescription drug, the company could be facing a hefty fine.

'CVS could be fined $29 million if the charges turn out to be true.'

That's just the beginning of the investigation. Los Angeles Times reports officials are describing the missing painkillers as signs of other problems:

'In some cases, the drugs have gone missing because pharmacists 'self-medicate,' they said. But in most cases, the officials said lower-level pharmacy workers, such as technicians, have made off with the drugs and then sold them to others.'

Hydrocodone is sold under brand names such as Vicodin and Norco, and they're not cheap on the black market.

In 2011, CNN looked into how much prescription drugs sell for on the streets. The outlet found hydrocodone can be sold from anywhere between $5 to $20 per pill.

The Los Angeles Times says CVS has instructed its other stores in Southern California to 'get their paperwork in order.'

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topgun6063 March 13 2014 at 10:14 AM

having retired from Rx; all narcs are double counted! CVS and DEA can and will track down the meds! the only question; what took them so long to the shortage?

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fliptrains March 13 2014 at 8:22 AM

Gee, what a suprise. Why don't we just legailize pain killers. They could be sold with marijuana. You could run a 2 for 1 sale. And all this is a suprise?

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citykitty123 March 13 2014 at 8:04 AM

Wow, I'm sure there is a lot more to this story than what was printed. Narcotics are kept under lock and key, they are not out on the shelves in the pharmacy like other prescription meds. Not all pharmacy workers have access to the narcotics area. Also the pharmacy should have cameras, they need to check the tapes. Were all the pills stolen at once or did they slowly disappear? Was there proof that the pills were in fact there in the first place? There could have been a mix up with the inventory. My husband is permanently disabled and takes Percocet. The doctor only writes a script for 30 days and he has to go back to the doctor every month. A few times the pharmacy has shorted him pills. He counts them as soon as he gets them. Pharmacist self medicating? Human error in counting, who knows? Like I said, lot more to the story.

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1 reply
hatpillbill citykitty123 March 13 2014 at 9:46 AM

The article did not refer to Class II narcotics, but rarther Class III drugs, which are kept on shelves and not inventoried as thorough as Class II

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oujoou March 13 2014 at 8:03 AM

A LOT of people need meds. Pain meds are for people IN pain. Not sure if the kind of 'pain' these addicts are IN . . . is the same. :( Your mommy beat you when you didn't serve her a beer that was cold enough in the morning. Umm . . . you have some explaining to do. :( Go to rehab. Learn to participate in rehab 'groups.' Read self help books. Sit on a meditation cushion. Do SOMEthing. ANYthing to be normal. :( I know a lot of heroin people say they were born too sensitive. And they carry around butterfly knives and steal things from Walmart. Not the kind of 'sensitive' that gets a 'good' girl's attention . . . unfortunately. :(

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bdgrizcp March 13 2014 at 9:47 AM

Count your pills!!! If I fill a script for 40 tramodols, is that the # I got? Only one way to find out.

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2 replies
eric bdgrizcp March 13 2014 at 10:00 AM

Good point, but that's not the case here. If a clerk or whomever shorts you the inventory will not show any discrepancy.

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1 reply
Jen eric March 13 2014 at 10:24 AM

True, but they did fix my issue immediately. (comment below)

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Jen bdgrizcp March 13 2014 at 10:23 AM

Yes!! I always count my pills. And I don't wait until I get home. I count them in the car. I did find a huge mistake one time, over a 60 pill difference. I get 120/ month due to a serious back and leg injury. And this was at CVS. Just look out for yourself.

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donovansdanes March 13 2014 at 8:25 AM

I'd like to know what's going on with a shortage of Digoxin? This is a common medication is used to treat hart conditions. For the past several years I've been able to purchase sixty 0.25 mg of Digoxin tablets for a total of cost $8.00 The last time I filled my prescription all of a sudden the total cost was $53.00 A 650% mark up for the medication. And all of a sudden Digoxin has become very difficult to find. This is a very common generic hart medication that costs very little to produce,

Anyone know what's going on with this particular medication all of a sudden?

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1 reply
newzealandwool donovansdanes March 13 2014 at 8:48 AM

no but you might want to reserach legitimate overseas pharmacies. there is a website that the legit ones belong to and you can search from there. its probably available at the right price outside the USA.

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Debra March 13 2014 at 8:38 AM

Not surprised...many years ago I stopped using the CVS Pharmacy because they 'lost' my sons Concerta prescription twice. This happens to be a very popular black market drug. I did notify the store manager as well as the main pharmacist of the situation and that I would no longer be using their services. They could have been part of the problem for all I know. So glad someone is finally noticing.

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estelley March 13 2014 at 9:29 AM

If the pharmacist were self medicateing to the tune of 37 thous pills must of been some party, wher is their daily accounting record

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1 reply
Kaden estelley March 13 2014 at 9:45 AM

I agree put the pharmacict in jail, do not make me pay for some party animal who dont have any pain

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mscttf March 13 2014 at 8:41 AM

Lets give some facts. Controlled substances being taken by employees have been going on since the establishment of pharmacies. Nothing New ! What would be a new twist to these stories are the actual facts. Times, Dates, Locations, ect...... in conjunction with the actual format of an investigative report.

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jbraidedbeauty1 March 13 2014 at 8:50 AM

Seems funny they arrest street drug dealers and here its happening behind the scenes and closed doors... when will folks realize you have more crooks in higher position than lower ..like they say just because your butt hasnt been caught dont mean you are not a thief... put the camera on the average joe blow and see what he/she does when nobodys looking! huh you will be suprised and investigate how much dirt goes on that is never publicized!

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1 reply
Demon Shadow jbraidedbeauty1 March 13 2014 at 11:14 AM

What is so unsual about this situation is that many, if not all at this point, CVS pharmacies have hidden cameras and security all over the pharmacy area. They go through bag checks, have to keep a daily log of narcotics dispensed and so on and so forth. So the thieves will be caught and charged, but it is mind boggling that so much product passed under the radar before it was exposed. And to be honest, it does happen often, the only reason this one was publicized is the amount missing. Usually they are isolated incidents in pharmacies across the country and many techs as well as pharmacists are caught and prosecuted accordingly.

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