Controls over Addictive Drugs in VA Pharmacies

T-HRD-91-36: Published: Jun 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 1991.

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GAO discussed inadequacies in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA): (1) security over addictive prescription drugs in its pharmacies; and (2) detection of thefts of such drugs. GAO noted that: (1) VA pharmacies lacked adequate controls over many addictive prescription drugs; (2) lower-scheduled drugs, with the highest potential for abuse, constituted the majority of the addictive drugs VA pharmacies handled; (3) working stocks of lower-scheduled drugs were at a significant risk of theft, given the large number of employees with access to the drugs; (4) of the nine pharmacies visited, only one locked up all lower-scheduled drugs; (5) pharmacies did not conduct adequate inspections of lower-scheduled drugs; and (6) since officials did not periodically inspect drug supplies, they were unaware of the thefts until contacted by law enforcement authorities.

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