Report: VA drug thefts not going away


Federal authorities are looking into continued drug thefts at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, The Associated Press reports

The VA inspector general has opened 36 investigations from Oct. 1 through May 19 into possible opioid and other drug theft by employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, according to the AP. That brings the total number or open criminal investigations to 108. 

{mosads}The VA announced in February it would implement employee drug tests and inspections, but the problem only appears to be getting worse, the news service noted. 

The VA said it is working on additional policies “to improve drug safety and reduce drug theft and diversion across the entire health care system.”

“We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding drug theft,” Poonam Alaigh, the VA’s acting undersecretary for health, told the AP. “We have security protocols in place and will continue to work hard to improve it.”

The news service noted that Senate is expected to vote next month that would give the VA “the tools necessary to remove employees who are failing to perform at the high-quality level.” 
“The theft and misuse of prescription drugs, including opioids, by some VA employees is a good example of why we need greater accountability at the VA,”  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the lead sponsor, said.


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