Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's Not Just 'Sunshine on my shoulders' that makes Floridians happy

The Sunshine State  is back in the news again as Walgreens just agreed to pay an $80 million dollar fine to DEA involving an "unprecedented number" of record keeping and dispensing abuses of oxycodone.  One store alone ordered 1.7 million units.  The DEA alleged the prescriptions were being diverted for black-market use. 

Last year Florida's CVS's pharmacy chain was in the news.  One pharmacist was quoted that customers came in asking drugs by their "street names" that some medications were kept in the back for "real" patients.  
CVS paid a $34 million settlement to DEA back in 2008 because of abusive prescription practices. The average pharmacy dispenses 69,000 oxycodone pills and one store in Orlando dispensed over 5 million units from 2008-2011.  Orlando always has branded itself as the happiest place on Earth.                                                                                          
This, of course, brings to mind how often Missouri doctors  prescribe excessive drugs for Missouri comp patients.   Employers have an obligation  to try to cure and relieve workers of their injuries.  There is no statutory mandate to "light 'em up."   The cost of this abuse goes beyond Big Pharma greed, bloated MSAs, and part D skyrocketing costs. It causes irreparable harm to workers. 

Missouri is the only state in the country  to not adopt a prescription drug monitoring program. Some folks in Jefferson City feel that the best government is no government.
Legislative reform on this issue died once again in the 2013 legislative session   (SB 233, HB 347). Perhaps more Missouri politicians should go rent Winter's Bone to fully appreciate the danger of Missouri getting burned if the politicians spend too much time with their head buried in the sand.