DEA investigating Costco hydrocodone dispensing in California

March 25, 2014

Why has one Costco pharmacy in West Sacramento, California consistently bought more hydrocodone than any other pharmacy in that state?

Why has one Costco pharmacy in West Sacramento, California consistently bought more hydrocodone than any other pharmacy in that state?

No one knows for sure, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is now inspecting the records and premises of several Costco pharmacies in Northern California supplied by the West Sacramento pharmacy, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

According to federal warrant applications, the West Sacramento pharmacy is “the highest purchaser (dosage units) for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013 in the State of California.”

Recently, warrants were issued authorizing DEA agents to inspect and audit Costco pharmacies in Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, and Manteca.

According to the SacramentoBee, investigators believe there will be numerous record-keeping violations related to the receipt of controlled substances” found at the four locations.

 

 

John Sullivan, Costco’s corporate counsel, told the newspaper that the company supports the DEA’s efforts to address “the public health problem of the diversion of prescription drugs,” adding that Costco has cooperated with the agency and will continue to do so.

How much hydrocodone did the West Sacramento pharmacy purchase? According to the Sacramento Bee, the pharmacy bought almost 5 million hydrocodone dosage units in 2011.

By contrast, 184 pharmacies in seven California counties bought slightly more than 2 million units during the same time period. Investigators identified similar hydrocodone purchasing patterns for the West Sacramento pharmacy in both 2012 and 2013.