Some pain patients say that the crackdown on pill mills and rescheduling of such common opioids as hydrocodone has created an access problem. A Kaiser Health News report focuses on enforcement at the pharmacy level, where pharmacists are being given specific allotments of prescription narcotics and warned to get closer to the state average for narcotic pills distributed per month. According to the report, the uptick in federal involvement has also hit big name pharmacies. The DEA investigated both CVS and Walgreens, and both pharmacy chains settled civil suits in 2013 for record-keeping violations of the Controlled Substances Act. Walgreens paid an $80 million civil penalty, and CVS paid an $11 million penalty.
Read the full feature from Kaiser Health News here.