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CVS to pay $3.5-million settlement because its pharmacies kept filling forged Oxycodone prescriptions

CVS pharmacies in the Boston area and New Hampshire repeatedly filled Oxycodone prescriptions they should have known were forged - in one case because the chain's own computer system had a warning about the person who kept bringing them in - the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

CVS has agreed to pay $3.5 million and sign a three-year agreement with the DEA to monitor how it fills prescriptions for the painkiller.

The forged prescriptions traced back to just a few individuals. One of the forgers, P.R., signed a dentist’s name on 56 of 59 oxycodone prescriptions that P.R. was then able to get filled at five CVS locations. CVS pharmacists filled these prescriptions even though CVS banned P.R. in 2011 and its computer system contained notes warning that P.R. had tried to fill forged prescriptions in the past. P.R. managed to circumvent the ban by opening a new patient profile using her own Arizona driver’s license number but with a different last name. The government alleged that CVS should have known that the new profile was really P.R.’s, and that the quantities and frequency of P.R.’s oxycodone prescriptions were excessive, especially coming from a dentist. Moreover, the government alleged, even if CVS had believed the prescriptions to be real, there were red flags that P.R. was “doctor shopping,” including the fact that P.R. presented oxycodone prescriptions from two different providers during a single week at one CVS store.

In another case:

Another forger, E.D., was able to fill fake prescriptions for hydrocodone and methadone over 200 times at CVS stores. CVS filled the prescriptions, on which E.D. had forged the name of an emergency room physician who according to the prescriptions worked at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, even though: (a) the physician did not work at Brigham & Women’s Hospital; (b) the prescriptions were issued more often and for larger pill quantities than is normal for prescriptions issued by an ER physician; and (c) 21 of the prescriptions, which were presented and picked up by E.D., a man, purported to be for female patients (and all were filled by the same CVS pharmacy).

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Comments

And I wonder if any of these people are dead? I am sure some the people they sold to are.

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Drop in the bucket. How about recouping 1/4th of whatever they declared as profit to their shareholders last year?

That would leave a lasting impression.

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Is THAT why everything in CVS is so expensive??

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Whatever it is, I hope once they pay this settlement, they give them a super-long, cumbersome receipt with ads and coupons for other government services.

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Is that $3.5 million in Extra Bucks?

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Don't opoid prescriptions have to be transmitted electronically, and not by paper? Or is that not the law in Mass?

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Actually, until very recently, the law required them to be on paper, either printed or handwritten, with an original signature. Almost everywhere in MA still cannot electronically prescribe controlled substances, even though the law now permits it.

Healthcare administration and law move slowly. Healthcare IT is commensurately behind. Maybe some doctors' offices can do so now, or very shortly. Or before the end of the year or sometime in 2017. I know electronic is much more secure from the simple fraud that many patients that abuse attempt.

It's stupid, really. As someone who has/had prescriptions, including controlled substances; and builds systems that include traditional and e-prescribing, it boggles my mind.

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Yup. Even non-opioid controlled substances. Once a month, a trip to my doctors office, then to the pharmacy, where they hopefully have it in stock, and can fill it that day, or I'll have to come back another day just to drop off the piece of paper.

Meanwhile, people were using forged scripts and getting Oxycodone from them with no trouble.

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Their pharmacist are either hooking up their friends or getting paid or threatened to fill these prescriptions. What's to stop some junkie from following a pharmacist home and threatening their family? Junkies are extremely creative. Maybe CVS needs better security? This is 2016. Bad people everywhere.

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Don't you love how CVS (and other pharmacies) ask you for your name, address, birthdate and make you repeat it if you try to whisper, while you are in line with who knows who.
Just to pick up a pediatric dose of something you can't even get 24 hours early no matter what.

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I am amazed at how willing people are to give out extra information. Every CVS I have used only asks for "day and month of birth", NOT the year. Yet almost every other person I have witnessed answering this question gives their full birth date!
It would be better if you could confirm that sort of stuff on the digital keypad thing where you sign off for your scripts now.

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Use a smart phone. It generates a code picture that verify your id. You have to download an app.

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I don't need a smart phone. I am on a fixed income and cannot rationalize the additional expense. I do have a computer at home...but that's as far as it goes.

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Maybe CVS should lose their pharmacy license for a year, just like the Theatre District club that served booze to underage kids.

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Aren't they the ones who aggressively patted themselves on the back a couple years ago for no longer selling tobacco due to its addictive qualities and propensity to ruin lives?

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