Entries in Walgreens (2)


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


Walgreens Offering $10 Million in Free Flu Shots

Jay LaPrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Walgreens is offering $10 million worth of flu shot vouchers to uninsured Americans who can’t afford the vaccine.

For the second year in a row, the pharmacy has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make the flu shot more available to those who might not otherwise be able to receive it.

“With the help and support of HHS, we’ve been able to provide free access to flu vaccine to people in need and improve immunization rates in underserved communities,” Kermit Crawford, Walgreens’ president of pharmacy services, said in a statement. “We’re making an impact and helping to keep people healthy throughout the flu season.”

The move also gets 300,000 new customers into the 7,700 participating  pharmacies.

The flu shot guards against three strains of seasonal influenza, reducing the risk of infection by 59 percent.

“While we hope and wait for a perfect vaccine, we’ve got a good one that’s capable of preventing influenza and its complication,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “It can’t prevent every instance, but it can prevent many. And that’s a good thing.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone older than 6 months old get a flu shot every year. But less than half of eligible American’s got vaccinated last year.

The flu can lead to life-threatening complications like pneumonia. Among the 115 children who died of flu-related causes last year, less than a quarter of them had received the flu vaccine, according to the CDC.

The vouchers can be exchanged for one free flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy, Duane Reade Pharmacy in New York, or Take Care Clinic.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio