West Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy plans to ask prescription drug wholesalers to report pharmacies placing suspiciously large orders of painkillers or other controlled substances.
The board plans to forward those reports to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office, which last week sued a pharmacy in Boone County, accusing it of providing too many highly addictive painkillers over more than a decade.
The distributors McKesson Corp. and Cardinal Health already notify the state of such questionable orders, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
The pharmacy board voted unanimously Monday to send letters asking other wholesalers to take part in the effort. Distributors already submit reports on suspicious drug orders to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The idea is we’re letting them know we need their suspicious order reports, and we go from there,” said Dennis Lewis, chairman of the pharmacy board.
The board’s rules require the distributors to report suspicious prescription drug orders, but the regulations don’t spell out the criteria. There is also no standard form for drug wholesalers to fill out, which frustrates Lewis.
“The two companies, the reports they submit are night and day,” Lewis said. “To look at the suspicious report, from my perspective, is useless the way they come in now.”
Morrisey’s office has offered to decipher the reports.
Lewis said he plans to find out if pharmacy boards in other states require wholesalers to report suspicious drug orders from pharmacies.
A 2012 lawsuit – filed by former Attorney General Darrell McGraw and inherited by Morrisey – accuses drug wholesalers of shipping an excessive number of pain pills to West Virginia and failing to report suspicious orders from rogue pharmacies.
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