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DEA searches Florida Walgreens

April 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

TAMPA, Fla., April 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it is investigating Walgreens pharmacies as it cracks down on Florida's illicit prescription medications market.

The DEA searched six Walgreens from Fort Pierce to the Tampa Bay area and a distribution center in Jupiter as part of its probe of increased traffic in the narcotic painkiller oxycodone, The Miami Herald reported.

"DEA is concerned about the recent significant rise in the number of oxycodone tablets purchased by Walgreens in Florida," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark Trouville.

The DEA's regulatory arm, which licenses pharmacies, doctors and other medical offices that distribute prescription drugs, is heading the investigation.

"We are working and cooperating with the DEA on this matter," Walgreen Co. spokesman Jim Cohn said.

In recent years, Florida has become a major source for black-market prescription painkillers, the Herald said. Pain medication from Florida has been found throughout the eastern United States, from Kentucky to Massachusetts.

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