Nearly 40,000 high-powered prescription narcotics pills are missing from local CVS stores, leaving state and federal regulators to wonder what happened.

A total of 37,000 pills, mainly hydrocodone, were missing from stores in Modesto, Dixon, Fairfield and Turlock.

California’s largest pharmacy chain is facing upward of $29 million in fines after the Drug Enforcement Agency served search warrants at stores on those four cities.

Virginia Herold with the California State Pharmacy Board says the pills disappeared in about the span of a year—5,000 from the Dixon store alone.

“The reality is that these pills are valuable,” she said.

So where did they go?

“Often you have a pharmacy employee that is targeted by other people who know they work in a pharmacy, and is then encouraged to steal drugs for profit,” she said.

But safeguards should be put in place, so pills can’t be taken by employees, and if they are stolen, they can be found quickly.

When we tried to get answers from CVS, the company issued the following statement:

“Today when tried to get answers from cvs, they instead issued this statement in part:

“We are cooperating with the DEA in their review of pharmacy records at a few of our pharmacies in California to determine the reasons for the discrepancies in our record keeping and to correct them. As health care providers, our pharmacists and technicians remain focused on ensuring prescription drugs are only delivered to the patients who need them”


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