opioids

Sen. Reeves unsurprised his pharmacy topped opioid recipient list in Tennessee

State Sen. Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro) tells WPLN-FM he wasn’t surprised when his pharmacy was listed as the top recipient of opioids in Tennessee — more than double the next highest recipient.

A database published by the Washington Post showed that Reeves’ company, now called Twelve Stone Health Partners, took delivery of more than 45 million pain pills over a six-year period.

Reeves told WPLN that most of the opioids cycling through his pharamcy between 2006 and 2012 came from the company’s contract with hospice agencies.

“You’ve got an individual, at home, who’s got cancer, who’s at end of life, and we’re dispensing pain medication to them,” he says. “And if there’s diversion in those homes, at that point in time, it’s a bigger issue within that family.”

While there are numerous examples of family members of caregivers stealing medications from hospice patients, Reeves told the public radio station that its close to impossible to cheat the system on his end of the system.

“I do not believe that the addiction problems and the overdose problems and the diversion problems in the state of Tennessee are being caused because of hospice patients,” he said.

The retail said of the business started by Reeves’ father was sold to Fred’s in 2015. The company, which now mostly focuses on people in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, employs 130 and is licensed in 47 states.