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    CVS pharmacists must check PMP before dispensing opioids

    As part of a $795,000 settlement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CVS Pharmacy will require its pharmacy staff in that state to check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before filling prescriptions for commonly-misused opioids.

    The agreement between CVS and Massachusetts requiring the PMP check prior to dispensing opioids is believed to be the first in the nation.

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    The settlement resolves allegations that CVS failed to provide its Massachusetts pharmacists with a way to access the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) prior to March, 2013.

    Maura HealeyThe assurance and settlement agreement also resolve allegations that certain CVS pharmacies in Massachusetts failed to monitor drug use patterns or use sound professional judgment when dispensing controlled substances, particularly opioids, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General.

    “Through this groundbreaking settlement, these pharmacists will be better equipped to responsibly dispense opioids and will be required to use the PMP, which is a vital resource in preventing the misuse of opioids,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

    A CVS spokesperson said the company “recognizes the importance of the state’s PMP as a tool to detect and prevent the abuse and misuse of controlled substances. CVS provides its pharmacists access to the PMP website, trains its pharmacists to register for and use the PMP as appropriate, and has further agreed to implement policies requiring pharmacists to consult the PMP before dispensing certain opioids in Massachusetts.”

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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