VA Drug Theft – Who Is Stealing Drugs Intended For Veterans?

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VA Drug Theft

I will give you a hint. When it comes to finding out who is stealing drugs intended for veterans, her name may start with “doctor”.

Federal authorities are investigating rampant allegations of opioid and other prescription drug theft likely by VA employees inside the agency.

But what kind of employees are doing it? Is it the rank and file VA employee, senior executives, medical doctors, all of the above?

Presently, Associated Press uncovered data showing the federal government is investigating 36 different criminal cases opened since October. This brings the total amount of open investigations to 108 involving criminal theft or unauthorized drug use.

Generally, such investigations lead to criminal charges, but within the walls of any VA, almost anything is possible.

More VA Drug Theft Numbers

The present numbers reveal an increase over the same period the previous year despite VA’s “zero tolerance” pledge. Since 2009, doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff within 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics are suspected of siphoning off drugs for unauthorized use or sale.

According to NY Times:

Drug thefts are a growing problem at private hospitals as well as the government-run VA as the illegal use of opioids has increased in the United States. But separate data from the Drug Enforcement Administration obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act show the rate of reported missing drugs at VA health facilities was more than double that of the private sector. DEA investigators cited in part a larger quantity of drugs kept in stock at the bigger VA medical centers to treat a higher volume of patients, both outpatient and inpatient, and for distribution of prescriptions by mail.

Since 2009, drug loses at VA facilities increased from 237 to 2,397 this year. And, as one would suspect, of these instances, only 3 percent of the doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff disciplined.

Surprised by the lack of accountability for wronging?

If you are, you should not be. VA maintains a horrible track record of enforcing ethics and conduct standards, especially when senior leaders are involved.

Notably, VA is struggling in ridding itself of two of the most scandalous VA directors in recent history. The reason is not due to a lack of ability to terminate properly but instead VA management is failing to investigate and prosecute misconduct with any zeal, whatsoever.

Case in point is DeWayne Hamlin who was recently hired back to San Juan VA, located in Puerto Rico. Hamlin was implicated in fraud, whistleblower harassment, and apparently drug theft. Yet, when executives moved to terminate him, they failed to do so by checking all the bases.

RELATED: Notoriously Corrupt VA Director Hired Back

That seems to be the issue within VA. They promote bad leaders and, when those bad leaders make colossal mistakes like Sharon Helman, a felon who managed Phoenix VA during the wait list fraud, get locked into appeals for years to get their jobs back.

Despite recently becoming a felon, Helman is still appealing her case. VA prosecutors reportedly failed to prosecute her case to include implication in the wait list scandal, only pinning her with misrepresentation of financial disclosures and receiving improper gifts from a lobbyist, including Beyoncé tickets and tickets to Disney Land.

RELATED: Helman Case Reveals Secret Lobbyist Gifts

Is it any wonder this system keeps churning out corrupt losers for those of us in the press to continue writing about day in and day out?

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/05/29/us/politics/ap-us-veterans-affairs-missing-drugs.html

James Clement
James Clement

Following.

James Clement
James Clement

2nd attempt. Following.

Richard Rust
Richard Rust

Maybe that’s why They had Me on 5 different Pain Medications
in 6 month’s or less – Simple they provide a Vet with a medication
an once it’s on list It’s available .. to them for as many Month as given. And changed Pain meds so many times in such a short time as They wanted to get Access to them All r had a preference to a certain .. 1.

James Clement
James Clement
Case Studies in Leadership: Sharon Helman, RimaAnn Nelson, DeWayne Hamlin. Great leadership provided by all. Fuck over veterans. Get caught. Lawyer up. Cry. Whine. Threaten. Then get shuffled elsewhere, get promoted, or . . . ANYTHING but receive the punishment they have so richly earned. Fucking Disgusting. Should I live long enough to hear of the death of any of these three – – – I shall REJOICE madly. FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA: 1. Recognize the problems inherent in… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
May I add # 9- Forbid and BAN the AFGE or ANY Union in Federal Workplaces. The union is essentially one large sucking lamprey to the VA’s budget and resources. It MUST GO. There was a time when unions were definitely more applicable and served a very good purpose. The one thing I did learn working at UPS/Teamsters for a few years unloading semi’s is the Union is ALSO there to ENSURE a SAFE WORK Environment. A medical workplace of… Read more »
James Clement
James Clement

@Namnibor – – – Taken for Action. Will formalize, then add in. Good Call. Always open for new constructive ideas on how to fix this COVFEFE.

Stenosis bad today. Got to take some pills and hit the rack for an hour or so. How you (besides the mood) doing lately?

Disgruntled Veteran
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN

namnibor
namnibor

I’m silly as an old rerun of “H.R. Puff and Stuff”. The VA is my ‘Witchy Poo”. 🙂

James Clement
James Clement

@Nam – – – Silly as Puff & Stuff? Then I know you are going to be alright.

As for me, ever get my benefits – – – got to get riding again. Wish I would have kept my old BMW boxer twin, but figure I can buy a Ural Gear Up with a sidecar. The dream that keeps me slogging on through this mess . . .

Disgruntled Veteran
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Ben, you should FOIA the DEA numbers on prescriptions that were returned to VA, as well as DEA numbers of Physicians issuing narcs. The numbers should correspond to a waste log, otherwise, VA is selling them to other entities.

91Veteran
91Veteran
To add to your FOIA, request the numbers and disposition of every case they investigated. No names are needed, just employee positions and what the final outcome was. How many faced any serious discipline? How many had their licenses to prescribe scheduled drugs revoked? Suspended? Nothing at all? How many were prosecuted and fired? How many were referred for action to other authorities? The numbers rising from 237 to 2844 in 6 years tells me those stealing the drugs know… Read more »
Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon
Not surprised the system is broke. Greed… If it ran the way it is suppose to,they would save the money they needed to help who it was intended for. Is there hope that it can get fixed? Maybe hope is all there is. Can one have faith it will be fixed? With that in mind,who can we all count on to lead the way to honesty,pride, and the dignity this V.A. needs to show to the people that make everyone… Read more »
Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor

That’s it: what happened to this country can ONLY be summated in one word as just that: GREED…
The only way out of this tailspin would be to insist that a man like, oh, say, Ben Krause,
be appointed VA Secretary or VA OIG. THEN, as Doc Brown would say, you’re gonna see some serious sh*t…

C Smith
C Smith
Amazing The Va is leading the charge for taking veterans off narcotics that they dispensed without concern or discernment of the consequences. So to the veteran with chronic pain, 5 failed spine surgeries , steel plates and Rods in his back you are to stop taking these meds, because instead of a common sense approach to this problem that they created they employ a blanket heartless solution so they can spin how great they are at decreasing the use of… Read more »
James Clement
James Clement

@C Smith – – – Yes. They have addressed the heroin being sold at the back door. They have addressed it to Little Cox, SucVA Shulkin, Some of the Dinosaur VSO HMFIC’s, and of course – – – they must keep a wee bit “on hand” in order to get through the arduous workday seeing so many Dangerous and Disruptive Veterans. . . .

Disgruntled Veteran
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN

MARGARET
MARGARET

May I suggest an excellent place to start searching? The Medical Administrators who ignore Veteran’s real, major health concerns – such as cancer screening, and funnel them all into abusive, psychiatric labeling, and the fraudulent rubber stamping of “medical” records, where there is no testing, screening, or attempts in healing these “untreatable” Whistleblowers.

James Clement
James Clement
@MARGARET – – – That also would be a fine place to start. Just the good folks I had in mind when I mentioned they “must keep a wee bit “on hand” in order to get through the arduous workday seeing so many Dangerous and Disruptive Veterans. . . .” Because as most of us know through PERSONAL experience – – -most Veterans DO NOT have “real, major health concerns” – – – at least according to the VA. Sure,… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
Benjamin, nice ‘Bad VA Art’. It brought to memory of a bizarre movie based upon book of same name, “Naked Lunch”, except they were snorting centipede and cockroach powder. How that ties-in is the VA probably replaced intended RX’s for Veterans with facility roach powder and reason there’s an uptick in things other than ticks that craw in VA kitchens. I am also betting a magical number of Veteran’s mailed-out RX’s that were “lost” would fall into the scheming of… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
You know nam, that whole “lost in transit” excuse it just bullshit. The VA mails millions of prescriptions. What are the statistics for pain killers of any flavor being “lost in transit” to say a prescription for stool softener? If pain killers are being lost in the mail at a much higher rate than other non pain killer prescriptions, then there is an insider either stealing them, or tipping someone off to steal them. If they are being stolen by… Read more »
Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor
2 years ago when we helped a vet who’d been cut off cold turkey off of his pain meds, we asked the VAMC Director and a conference room full of crowd- and damage-control doctors whether their pharmacy was having any issues with prescription drug theft like the SLC facility… It appeared to be a rather sensitive subject with that crowd. They were very eager to get back to talking about how they were righting the past wrong of overprescription and… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
This is a big “duh” moment for those of us who are intimate with opiod tolerance. Of course there is theft. At what time in history have opiate ever not been a target of theft? Addiction is BIG BIG BIG money. VA refuses to say they addicted me to opiods – the shrink corrected me when I lamented that I had become addicted to VA opiates by saying, “You are not addicted, your dependent.” I understand fully that those who… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Alligator and Croc tastes just like chicken. Not VA chicken, mind you. But chicken.

cj
cj

Don’t forget the Helman, on your VA Hamlin shit sandwiches!!!!

namnibor
namnibor

LMAO! LMAO! 🙂 🙂

namnibor
namnibor

I’m afraid that would be a ‘Graves’ Shit Sandwich. (GSS)

James Clement
James Clement

@cj – – -Just spread Helman on my Graves Shit Sandwich, Now it’s all Rima’d up! Even Little Cox won’t eat it. What to do?

cj
cj

@James Clement, I think when all the commenters get done building this VA sandwich, it will take on the form of a huge, brown submarine turd, ready for the poop howitzers.

James Clement
James Clement

@cj – – – Hollow that turd out, and it WILL BE the Poop Howitzer!

Disgruntled Veteran
1973 – 1976 USMC
1978 – 1993 USN

cj
cj

@James Clement: James, not gonna touch that one with a 10ft pole, hahahaha

cj
cj

Be back later Gators.

Jane
Jane

LMAO good one! One problem she might already be spoiled, having been left out too long at the VA and give us vets more food posioning.

Dennis
Dennis
I am in posession of a VA police report detailing a substantial cache of other prescription drugs, including CSA sheduled drugs that was found and seized after I reported that psychiatric drugs were distributed to me by the suicide prevention coordinator outside on the street corner after hours. In the report the SPC at first of course lied about doing it, but they produced the envelope with the pills still in it and asked her if the writing was hers.… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here we go again! More drugs “stolen” by a number of VA employees – it really doesn’t matter much of “Who’s” doing it. What matters is – “How” to stop it! We on here have known for a long time, VA employees (from top to bottom) have stated the following statement, quote; “I can’t be fired!” No matter the “what” or “Why” these reprobate asswipes do, whether a misdemeanor or felony, (FACT) no one hardly ever is held accountable! So,”Where”… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

T he VA meatgrinder’s ass keeps pumping-out ‘high’-grade shit every day. Benjamin does not have to do a thing…the corruption at the VA is self-replicating. Good or potentially good/great employees go into the VA to become yet part of the tainted hungry, hungry hippos crowd.

I’m just waiting for Candy Man Houlihan to make another guest appearance on the Wheel of Misfortune.

Rob D
They caught VA employee(s) selling opioid’s on the Psych. ward to patients in Milwaukee, I’m not sure about the exact date, but was over a year or so. I think it made the Milwaukee Journal because I was at an appt. and that’s all the Vets were talking about while I was in the waiting room, then I finally saw an article on it. Never did hear what the outcome was, I think someone got fired. Just had me thinking… Read more »
Nic Mach
Nic Mach
I am a current VA employee, in the nursing service. I am telling you drugs go missing and are being misappropriated left and right, all the time, on a near constant basis. This is the tip of the iceberg. I have reported this and other things (bugs in food, employee theft, staff to patient abuse) to the management, the VA OIG and to Congress, and they tell me, “we will look into it.” THEY DON’T DO SHIT!!! I AM FUCKING… Read more »
cj
cj

@Nic Mach: Nic, your exactly the right kind of VA employee veterans need, I can’t thank you enough for NOT turning a blind eye. Veterans need more people like you having their backs. Your a good man Nic.

91Veteran
91Veteran
My nurse on the last day I was in the hospital after knee replacement surgery was one of those stealing from patients. Over the period I was in, I was always given different medicines in different little cups, except with him. He claimed my pain pill was in the same cup as other medicine, which I know it was not. When it came time for another dose, he told me I was already discharged in the system, so I would… Read more »
Nic Mach
Nic Mach
I am sorry, I want to be clear, I went up and read part of the story Ben posted: “Presently, Associated Press uncovered data showing the federal government is investigating 36 different criminal cases opened since October. This brings the total amount of open investigations to 108 involving criminal theft or unauthorized drug use.” “Generally, such investigations lead to criminal charges, but within the walls of any VA, almost anything is possible.” The criminal charges part, is the staff gets… Read more »
Rich B
Rich B

I am not surprised. and frankly I don’t give a darn…. maybe if they take enough of this garbage, we won’t have to put up with them anymore…..

Jo3n

I wish you were making it up. Another day in the life, or death, of the Veterans. Been a tough few days. God Bless the Veterans and their families. That art…. think I used to have the poster.

LP
LP
A bit off topic, but speaks to the corruption in the VA here in Austin. I spoke to another neurosurgeon today. This guy said he spent an hour or more reading my file, my MRI reports, and looking at MRI images. Then told me he didn’t see anything anywhere that said or showed disc degeneration, disc bulges, or Anything that could be causing my multitude of symptoms. I asked if he had read and looked at MY file. Then i… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
LP ……same shit happened to me before… I learned my lesson though , never give a outside doctor anything from the V.A let them start from scratch don’t even mention them….most of them get a bone tossed to them once in a while in the form of a C&P EXAM and they don’t want that to stop…I went to a so called outside C&P doctor the V.A sent me to and it had a very small waiting room with a… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
But that bullet proof glass if for YOUR protection! LMAO! This world is so screwed-up. Back 6 or 7 years ago I was admitted to local private hospital but it was it’s “sister hospital” on the side of city the new VAMC is on and a very, VERY shitty hood and ALL that comes with the hood, gunshots and helicopters and all. I had an RN that was NOT giving me the controlled RX’s I used to take, BUT she… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

namnibor ….LMAO on the jack off jones.. LOL….I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio so I know about the hood ..lived in that state until i was 27 ..I still have two brothers up there and a lot of old friends I grew up with.. so i do go up often….. I like living here in the mountains, peaceful and i can be a hermit…LOL …AND THE HOOD KNOWS IF YOUR STREET SMART OR NOT…

Rich B
Rich B
OLDMARINE It is simply Not true concerning outside doctors , C/P exams and most doctors getting bones throw at them. C/P examiners must be approved prior and are on a list of examiners, examinations are assigned from the Chief of C/P examinations… and they are assigned regardless of the specialty of the examiner with one exception being those with mental issues must be examined by a person in that specialty… No Private doctor gets bones thrown at them… Sometimes I… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
Rich B….. C/P examiners must be approved prior and are on a list of examiners, examinations are assigned from the Chief of C/P examinations… and they are assigned regardless of the specialty of the ….NO SHIT SHERLOCK…P.BRENT KING DO AREA CODE 45101….now go check his office out and check out the beautiful glass…… No Private doctor gets bones thrown at them… HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW HE’S NOT ON THE LIST….I DON’T BUT YOU DO…….I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO… Read more »
Rich B
Rich B

LP,

What do you need a lawyer for? If its for claims legally can’t hire one until you are denied a claim by the regional office.

If its for malpractice, doesn’t sound line anyone actually treated you, so what would you sue for ?

Just trying to make sense out of your posting…

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
LP get a lawyer and make it easier on your self……..Rich B.he’s another useless X VSO……Just trying to make sense out of your posting…thats right he doesn’t know shit about your case just flapping those gums… the only reason i go to one is so he can fax the shit in …and if the pile of evidence is to big he tell’s me he cant fax it so i go to the post office and mail it myself……after he was… Read more »
Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor

The idea that a veteran cannot ‘hire’ a lawyer whenever he or she wants to is just that, an idea. It’s misinformation, disinformation, propaganda that has been propagated by… unfortunately, by some of you self-styled rocket scientists… take it from a VA-accredited attorney at law – you can hire me any ol’ time it suits ya.
And fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke…

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

Roger Taylor……is this you……………About me

Private veterans’ benefits attorney, serving U.S. servicemembers, veterans and their families.

VA-accredited to prepare and prosecute veterans’ claims before ALL Regional Offices of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in D.C since 2011.

Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims in D.C. since 2016.

Looking forward to helping you get your hard-earned, rightful veterans’ benefits.

Roger Taylor, Esq.
Roger Taylor, Esq.

in the fucking flesh…

Roger Taylor, Esq.
Roger Taylor, Esq.

sir

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
LP ….i reread your situation and that doctor that couldn’t see anything isn’t worth a shit any way. FIND ANOTHER ONE my neighbor OLD ARMY VET over here had the same thing happen, by the third doctor he had seen said i don’t know what those other doctors were looking at but said heres you problem right here. he got surgery from him.. and he was good to go ……AND….. RICK B….IF YOU WANT HIS NUMBER FOR PROOF ABOUT MY… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

AND I FORGOT TO ADD THE V.A said there was nothing wrong with him

Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor

I’m in Midland

LP
LP

Nice. Far northwest.

LP
LP

I’d like your contact info. Web address, email, phone number, physical address of your practice…I’d need to check into your creds before anything would move forward. I’m sure you understand.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“At the VA Hospital, Patients Often Wind Up in Court ” By Rowan Moore Gerety • 18 hours ago Excerpt from the article: “There are patients accused of stealing their lunches from the cafeteria (“Willful destruction, damage or removal of Government property”) and of smoking cigarettes in their hospital beds (“Failure to comply with signs of a directive and restrictive nature”). Spitting carries a penalty of $25; bringing alcohol on the property, $125. On the day Pelegrino’s case was heard,… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Link to the full article at: “http://wlrn.org/post/va-hospital-patients-often-wind-court”

Jo3n

Looks like it’s gonna be US and them for a while. THEY do everything They can do against US, while highlighting parking improperly or even,.. spitting. IF someone can’t find a way to hold them accountable, it’s just possible they win.

Dennis
Dennis
Todays blog points out the fact that it is estimated that VA folks engage in twice as many drug thefts as civilian hospitals. The government definition of “twice as many” as it applies to government wrongdoing is, “Holy SHIT that’s a LOT of folks stealing! Let’s call it twice as many.” Post so far have focused on why this is at VA. However, let me illustrate just why civilian hospitals are just a fraction of this problem; 1) Private hospitals… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

That’s six decades worth of choked chickens at the VA. Wonder if the ‘crow union’ has any beefs with that?

Rich B
Rich B

Dennis,

Define – Private Hospital- does this mean a hospital in the Private sector, or privately owned?

Most Hospitals are not privately owned. Most hospitals have security forces of some kind, or employ local Police, especially at or near the Emergency room.

Many hospitals are owned by the city, or county, they do not actually pay taxes in the true sense, and many are not profitable because of laws that govern the inability to refuse service to the poor, especially county hospitals.

Dennis
Dennis
Rich, Private hoapital in this context refers to a non-VA hospital. I fully understand that police are often present at any given hospital but the distinction is that they are not under the operational control of the hospital, or in the case of a private security force the private security force has no arresting authority granted them other than citizens arrest. A private security force almost NEVER comes armed with a gun. As far as profitability, I do respect your… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

implementation

James Clement
James Clement

@Dennnis – – – Exactly what my 8 soon to be 9 step plan will accomplish. And you have just highlighted all the sound reasons it should be done.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here’s four articles out from: “Military.com/Daily News” y’all should read —– 1.) Titled: “VA Drug Thefts Continue Despite New Efforts” 29 May 2017 Associated Press | by Hope Tennessee 2.) Titled: “VA in ‘Critical Condition’ But Shows Signs of Improvement: Shulkin” 31 May 2017 Fox News and Associated Press This one is a “must read”. Especially the comments section! More bullshit from “Shithead Shulkin”! He says we are receiving “same day appointments” – bullshit! I was bit by a “Brown… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

On #1, the reporter’s name is Hope Yen!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

On #4 The title should read:
“Poll: Did Your Tricare Dentist Dump You?”

Auto correct is screwing with me! And my hands are screwing up this morning! Neuropathy giving me hell today!

namnibor
namnibor

I liked ‘Dumpocraps’.

namnibor
namnibor

Nice way of calling them ‘shitheads’.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here’s a question I’d liked answered! When the VA (doctors, physicians Assistant, pharmacists, nurses, etc) cut off pain meds, oxicodone, oxicotine, methodone, heroin, etc., etc.,etc., to veterans – How many of these reprobates kept the veteran on a “secret list”? So they could get the drugs (for themselves), even though the vet no longer had access, or priscriptions, to the meds? I believe I’m asking the question correctly! And, I believe y’all know what I’m driving at!!!! I also believe… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

If you read between the lines in some of the news reports on this VA drug theft issue, exactly that is happening.

In one of the reports I read, it mentions the veteran not getting the medicine, but records indicated the veteran was still prescribed it.

So yes, a veteran receiving the medicine was stopped, but the prescription continued so a VA employee could steal it.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

91Veteran,
How would a veteran find out if the pharmacy is still prescribing meds to him/her when the veteran is no longer on it?
Especially if the pharmacy won’t divulge any details!

91Veteran
91Veteran
Crazy Elf, in one of the news reports, it mentioned something about veterans no longer receiving the prescription, yet the prescription was still being filled. The reporting was either lousy or deliberately vague, but I understood it to mean that while investigating drug theft, they had actually found where a veteran was cut off, but records showed the prescription continued. I suspect the investigators went to the veteran, and the veteran told them he/she had been cut off…that they were… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
@91Veteran & Crazy elf- I recall reading somewhere in recent past as well where they did everything but outright state medications intended for Veterans where the veteran was not currently RX’d said meds. It insinuated strongly that secret books were being kept because I recall us talking on here about how the VA probably keeps deceased veterans on the books so some hack can continue receiving benefits. It got pretty dicey in speculation on here. I believe it was within… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

“Drug Price Relief Act”, is the name of the proposed legislation a bunch of ex VA directors and VSO’s are on those commercials I spoke of here in Ohio.

Lem
Lem

In 1998 I was given two aspirin instead of my Tylenol 3 by an orderly. The Nurse should have never let him have his hands on my meds or the Nurse gave him the aspirin to insulate herself. Distinctly different taste between the two. Anyone who has let an aspirin sit on his tongue long enough to grab the water knows the difference.

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