Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Temple settles with feds over drug diversion

Temple University Health System on Wednesday agreed to hire a consultant to monitor its drug dispensing systems and pay $130,000 to the U.S. government for failing to prevent diversion of controlled substances, the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia announced. The settlement marks the close of a six-year investigation and prosecution that led to the conviction of two Temple health system doctors on drug charges.

Temple settles with feds over drug diversion

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By Inquirer Staff Writer Marie McCullough:

Temple University Health System on Wednesday agreed to hire a consultant to monitor its drug dispensing systems and pay $130,000 to the U.S. government for failing to prevent diversion of controlled substances, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced.

The settlement marks the close of a six-year investigation and prosecution that led to the conviction of two Temple health system doctors on drug charges.

“Hospitals must have effective controls to prevent and detect drug diversion,” U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said in a statement.

In 2004, Temple University Hospital’s lack of drug controls enabled its then-chief resident of anesthesiology to steal Ketamine, Fentanyl, Midazolam and Morphine. He was arrested after he tried to sell the drugs to an undercover drug enforcement agent.

Controlled substances were also stolen in 2007 by an anesthesiologist at Jeanes Hospital, which is part of the Temple system. The doctor pleaded guilty in 2008.

Following the thefts, federal investigators audited five facilities in the health system and found inadequate record keeping, inaccurate inventory, and lax controls in the computerized distribution system.

Previously, Temple officials voluntarily made changes to tighten and improve hospitals’ drug dispensing system.

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Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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