WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by employees at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. It’s a sign the problem isn’t going away despite new prevention efforts.
Data obtained by The Associated Press show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general’s office from Oct. 1 through May 19. It brings the total number of open criminal investigations to 108.
The numbers are an increase from a similar period the previous year. The VA has pledged “zero tolerance” in drug thefts following an AP story in February about a rise in cases of stolen or missing drugs. The agency has more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics.
The VA says it will continue working hard to reduce drug theft.
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