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Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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Knoxville, TN 37909

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Sevierville, TN 37862

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West Virginia's Prescription Drug Crisis

December 21, 2016

It's no secret that the state of West Virginia has been in a Prescription Drug crisis for years. Due to the crisis, the West Virginia Code of State Rules includes a regulation designed to keep the flow of prescription medications into the state in check. The Rule directs wholesale distributors of identify suspicious orders for highly addictive prescription narcotics, then in turn to report those questionable orders to the Pharmacy Board. Suspicious Orders include those "of unusual size, orders deviating substantially from a normal pattern, and orders of unusual frequency." In 2012, the State Attorney General brought a lawsuit against the biggest opioid distributors in the State to force them to comply with the rule. Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that "the rule about suspicious orders doesn't dictate what the Pharmacy Board is supposed to do with the reports. So, the board shelved them - every one." Eric Eyre actually looked through the boxes of reports 2 weeks ago to learn what they contained and reported the findings. The information in the boxes was never forwarded to the Attorney General's Office, no calls were made to the pharmacies that were selling huge amounts of pills, and no information was passed on to law enforcement.  One drug company filed 34 reports about suspicious orders at one Madison, WV pharmacy in 2016.

 

- Sam Owens with the Charleston Gazette-Mail

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