Massachusetts AG probing comp pharmacy over opioid dispensingPosted On: Jul. 26, 2019 2:46 PM CST
Injured Workers Pharmacy LLC is under investigation by the Massachusetts attorney general, which is looking into the workers compensation mail-order pharmacy’s reportedly high numbers of opioids dispensed since 2006, a spokeswoman in the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General confirmed Friday.
The investigation is centered on “whether Injured Workers Pharmacy properly dispensed controlled substances to its customers” – an investigation that began before the latest revelations concerning IWP dispensing went public, according to the spokeswoman in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.
The pharmacy made headlines this week following a Washington Post investigation, which included the newspaper and HD Media Co. LLC successfully suing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to gain access to its database tracking opioid prescriptions known as ARCOS, or Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System.
A judge with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, based in Cleveland on July 15 ruled that the records should be made public because “there is clearly no basis to shield from public view ARCOS data.” The district court’s order came after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 20 vacated an initial ruling that the database could not be disclosed.
The attorney for IWP said the company is “fully cooperating” with the investigation and that the DEA data is “misleading.”
“The DEA data regarding opioids received by Massachusetts pharmacies presents a misleading comparison because the quantities received by IWP are dispensed to patients across the country, whereas at least the next seven largest recipients of opioids are retail pharmacies which dispensed in small areas within the state,” Greg Saikin, Houston-based partner for BakerHostetler LLC, said in an emailed statement.
IWP, a national home delivery pharmacy service based in Andover, Massachusetts, described itself on its website as a drug dispenser that provides quick turnaround and “hassle-free” prescriptions to the tune of more than 40,000 prescriptions each month for those hurt on the job.
The pharmacy did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.