Emory hospital reports massive drug theft scheme

Two pharmacy employees at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta illegally diverted more than 1 million doses of controlled drugs, including Xanax, as part a scheme that ran from October 2008 until July 2013, according to The Augusta Chronicle.

The scheme ended when hospital officials became aware of a suspicious single purchase of Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances made by a pharmacy technician. The hospital immediately began an investigation and subsequently fired the two pharmacy technicians involved in the illegal activity.

Details of the scheme were released in a consent order the hospital finalized with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy last month.

According to the consent order, the hospital "suffered significant financial losses due to the employees' illegal thefts/diversion scheme."

Due to the scheme, the Georgia Board of Pharmacy ordered Emory University Hospital Midtown to pay a $200,000 fine and placed the hospital's pharmacy license on probation for three years, according to the report.

An Emory Healthcare spokesman, Vince Dollard, told The Augusta Chronicle that Emory has reinforced and added procedures to its pharmacy process to ensure a similar scheme doesn't occur in the future.

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