Allegations of opioid overprescription prompt probe of VA hospital

A dramatic spike in painkiller prescriptions at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, has made it the subject of a federal investigation, NBC News reports. Over the last eight years, the facility's prescription of opiates has quadrupled, with higher increases for specific drugs, such as the widely abused oxycodone, prescriptions for which increased tenfold. Staffers allege they were under pressure to quickly refill prescriptions. An initial probe by the VA Inspector General found no evidence of wrongdoing, but it has launched a new investigation in the wake of the 2014 overdose-related death of Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski. Simcakoski was prescribed an opioid used in addiction treatment while was already on another painkiller and numerous other anti-psychotics and tranquilizers. Article

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