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The feds can't stop VA hospital employees from stealing drugs

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project

Just when you thought the government could not get worse, there’s this. For years, valuable medicine has been disappearing from America’s VA Hospitals, even after the government promised to reduce the problem back in 2009.  In spite of the government’s “zero tolerance” policies,  there are now a total of 108 criminal investigations ongoing into theft of opioids and other medicines, probably by hospital staff. According to CBS:

Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff in the VA’s network of more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics are suspected of siphoning away controlled substances for their own use or street sale – sometimes to the harm of patients – or drugs simply went missing without explanation.

Drug thefts are a growing problem at private hospitals as well as the government-run VA facilities as the illegal use of opioids has increased in the United States. But separate data from the Drug Enforcement Administration obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act show the rate of reported missing drugs at VA health facilities was more than double that of the private sector. DEA investigators cited in part a larger quantity of drugs kept in stock at the larger VA medical centers to treat a higher volume of patients, both outpatient and inpatient, as well as for distribution of prescriptions by mail.

Is there a hotter place in hell reserved for people who steal medicine from veterans?  I mean, seriously.  Sen. Marco Rubio said, “The theft and misuse of prescription drugs, including opioids, by some VA employees is a good example of why we need greater accountability at the VA.”  And I, of course, agree with that.

However, I think we need more accountability for government across the board.  There’s no better way to do that than the Convention of States.  In fact, there’s no other way to do it, as the government never will voluntarily control or restrict itself.

The “disappearing drugs” from veterans more than amply demonstrates this sad, sad fact.


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