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Nurses' drug dispensing examined

Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2010

A crackdown by U.S. drug agents on the dispensing of prescription drugs in nursing homes is coming under industry fire and congressional scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Drug Enforcement Administration last year began probing allegations that nursing staff at some nursing homes were illegally dispensing powerful medications without doctor authorization. The issue is the subject of a Senate hearing set for Wednesday. Nursing-home and hospice- care trade groups say patients have been left to "languish in pain" while nursing homes and pharmacies try to find ways to comply with DEA regulations requiring physicians, in most cases, to write prescriptions, the Journal reports.