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DEA Inspections Often Catch Pharmacists Pocketing Prescription Drugs

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

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David W. Hodges
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Several times a year, pharmacists around the country are convicted of stealing medications from their own stores. In most cases, the theft has gone on for a year or longer. You may wonder: Is there any way to detect these crimes other than waiting for one of the pharmacy techs to catch the pharmacist red-handed?

The answer is yes. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can inspect a pharmacy if it has reason to suspect that drugs are not being properly dispensed. This is called a drug accountability audit and is permitted under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

Generally, here is what happens in a pharmacy drug accountability audit:

  • A DEA inspector can inspect the pharmacy’s premises to take an inventory of the controlled substances and examine all pharmacy records (except the store’s financial and pricing data or sales data other than that pertaining to shipments). 
  • The inspector reviews sales records and shipment reports to determine the amount of drugs received versus the amount of drugs dispensed. In the process, the inspector will also determine the accuracy of the records and make sure they comply with federal law.
  • If there is a discrepancy in a certain drug’s inventory, the pharmacist could be charged with a number of offenses, including illegal distribution of controlled medications, failing to maintain accurate controlled substance records, and falsifying information on drug reports.

Under the CSA, the DEA can enter and inspect any place where controlled substance records are kept or individuals are registered under the CSA. 

If your pharmacy failed inspection, you may be eligible for damages in a pharmacy error case. To find out more, call Kennedy Hodges today at (888) 526-7616 to start your FREE consultation, or click the link above to receive a FREE copy of our report How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.

Category: State Pharmacy Boards

Labels: drug accountability audit Injuries Caused by Medication Errors Pharmacists Pocketing Prescription Drugs pharmacy error case pharmacy failed inspection

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