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OHIO PHARMACY BOARD DRUG DIVERSION PROBE

Executive Summary

OHIO PHARMACY BOARD DRUG DIVERSION PROBE has led to license revocation for one pharmacy and fines ranging from $250 to $25,000 for 13 pharmacies and 17 individuals, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy reported in a June 13 press release. The board said it mailed orders issuing fines, fines with probation or license suspension on June 9 and that those involved have 15 days from receipt of notification to appeal. The average fine for pharmacies was nearly $12,000; the average individual pharmacist fine was approximately $5,000. According to the Ohio Board, the more severe penalties were assigned in cases involving a "tremendous amount" of physical evidence and different types of violations. The board identified the pharmacy which had its license revoked as Alexanders Pharmacy in Cincinnati. The Ohio Board held hearings in April on allegations of diversion of sample drugs and hospital-use products. The hearings followed a nearly four-year investigation by the board. The board will continue hearings June 23-25. Over 25 diversion hearings are scheduled for that week, including cases against Drug Emporium, Inc. and Tri-State Pharmaceutical wholesalers. Five Drug Emporium outlets and associated pharmacists, as well as the corporation's chairman of the board, received "notices of opportunity" for hearings. According to the Ohio Board, the Tri-State hearing will review charges of illegal acts by most of the stores implicated in the Ohio diversion activities. Forty-five pharmacists have been subpeoned to testify at the hearing. Results from the June hearings will be made public after the board orders have been reviewed and notices mailed to those against whom charges have been filed. The target date is the last week in July, before the board meets again in August.

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