Parkland reaches $80,000 settlement over missing meds

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 6 at 9:42 AM

DALLAS (AP) -- Parkland Memorial Hospital has reached an $80,000 settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration regarding the 2007 theft of controlled substances from the hospital's pharmacies.

Last year, the Dallas hospital paid $20,000 in state penalties for not stopping the theft. State officials said that 370,000 pills were stolen from the pharmacies over a year. The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the investigation indicated thefts may have been going on much longer.

An internal audit discovered that thousands of tablets of hydrocodone, a prescription painkiller, were missing from outpatient community clinics. The drug has a street value of $1 to $4 per pill.

Investigators found that five pharmacy technicians and two outsiders were running a drug ring from the county hospital. The employees were fired and subsequently prosecuted.

Two of the workers, who pleaded guilty to theft and organized crime charges, cooperated in exchange for probation. A hospital pharmacist also was fired.

Vivian Johnson, the hospital's pharmacy director, said the federal settlement means all investigations into Parkland's pharmacy operations have ended.

Print
Email
|