Entries in CVS (3)


Pharmacies Fueling Prescription Drug Trade?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The prescription drug trade is booming and the Drug Enforcement Administration believes some rogue pharmacies could be fueling the epidemic.

On Friday, the DEA confirmed that it is now investigating Walgreens, the nation’s biggest drugstore.

In Florida, six Walgreens stores were investigated after inspectors spotted a major red flag, a huge spike in the amount of the highly addictive painkiller Oxycodone the stores were ordering from distributors.

One of the stores under scrutiny bought 95,000 doses in 2009 and over 2.1 million doses in 2011, about 30 times the amount a typical pharmacy would buy.

Two Florida CVS pharmacies with similar massive purchases were recently banned from selling painkillers altogether after the DEA determined there was “imminent danger to the public health.”

Both pharmacy chains have said they are cooperating with the DEA.

The DEA fears rogue pharmacies could be illegally filing prescriptions for greedy doctors involved in black market distribution networks, or selling painkillers directly to addicts.

The potential profits are huge. One estimate put the number of prescription drug abusers at seven million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pharmacy Apologizes for Refusing to Sell Man Morning After Pill 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- CVS Pharmacy offered  a mea culpa Thursday after a pharmacist denied the sale of the morning-after pill to Isaac Kurtz of  Houston. The pharmacist told Kurtz she was acting on “personal belief” and not store policy.

“She tells me she needs to speak with the woman,” Kurtz told the Houston Press. “I’m taken back by this and ask her what she needs to talk to her about. I bought them here before without issue. She then tells me she won’t sell it to me.”

CVS store policy does not prohibit men from buy the morning-after pill, and under federal law, anyone over the age of 17 can buy Plan B without a prescription.

“We apologize for the isolated incident in our Houston pharmacy in which a male customer was unable to purchase this item,” CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis said in a statement. “We are following up on the pharmacy staff to ensure that our policies are properly followed to prevent a recurrence of this incident.”

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration deemed Plan B One-Step a safe and effective nonprescription medication for all women of childbearing years. The decision would have allowed the product to be available over-the-counter to people of all ages, but, in an unprecedented move, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blocked the pill from hitting drug store shelves.

"Last week’s decision added confusion to Plan B,” said Susan Wood, director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health in Washington D.C. 

"It made people think there was a safety issue or it somehow affected younger teens’ desire to participate in risky sexual behavior. Of course, neither of those are true, and those who don’t know all the information now have misinformation.”

Because Plan B  is not sold on store shelves, Woods said pharmacists end up acting as gatekeepers for the product.

“It’s so important that this product be compared to other products like condoms, tampons and pregnancy tests,” said Wood.

“Some of these might be considered male- or female-oriented, but clearly, anyone 17 or older can purchase these products for themselves or someone else. This would be better than having a gatekeeper who may not approve or understand the reason for providing it to the customer.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Grey's Anatomy' Chandra Wilson: Real-Life Stomach Migraine Mystery

Photodisc/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- In a case that sounds like an episode straight out of Grey's Anatomy, Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey in the show, spent a year trying to determine what was ailing her daughter, Sarina McFarlane, who was experiencing never-ending bouts of nausea in early 2010.

Every month the queasiness escalated to the point that, for days, McFarlane could not stop vomiting.  Like clockwork, the vomiting stopped and nausea eased a bit.  But when a new month started, the vomiting cycle returned.

"She had every kind of scan you could think of, you know, upper GIs and CT scans, and delayed gastric emptying tests, and you know, blood work constantly," Wilson told ABC's local Philadelphia affiliate, WPVI-TV.

After excluding a host of other possible diagnoses, Wilson said her daughter was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome, or CVS, a neurological disorder characterized by a series of prolonged attacks of severe nausea and vomiting, with no apparent cause.

CVS is also known as abdominal migraines because symptoms usually begin with severe abdominal pain or a migraine headache, followed by episodes of vomiting that can last for hours or even days.

Once an episode is over, the sufferer inexplicably returns to normal health, often with no remnants of the disease.

For most people, vomiting can be a source of relief from an unsettled stomach.  But for those who suffer from CVS, initial vomiting only triggers a cycle of more vomiting.

While a definite cause is unknown, some researchers point to a variety of neurological conditions that may be related to CVS.  Many experts say CVS may be one variation of a migraine.

According to researchers, for some, an intense headache or a condition known as an abdominal migraine may signal the onset of a vomiting episode. And many diagnosed with CVS have shown a family history of migraine headaches.

While the actual number of cases is unknown because of sparse research on the syndrome, estimates indicate that CVS may not be as rare as many believe.  Rather, according to the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association, more often it is misdiagnosed.  Surveys that have been conducted on the condition suggest that as many as 2 percent of children worldwide may suffer from CVS.

Initially identified as a pediatric disease and believed that children would outgrow the disorder, researchers now say it can persist into adulthood and even appear in adults for the first time. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio