Michigan Medicine agrees to $4.3M settlement over drug diversion case

Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor agreed to pay $4.3 million to resolve allegations of mishandling its prescription drug inventory. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit indicates the settlement culminates a years-long Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into Michigan Medicine's handling of controlled substances. The agency launched the investigation after a nurse and anesthesiology resident overdosed at a Michigan Medicine facility in 2013, and the nurse died.

The DEA cited Michigan Medicine for poor record keeping of its drug inventory and for failing to report drug thefts to the agency in a timely manner, among other issues.

Michigan Medicine was not charged with criminal wrongdoing, and the settlement is part of a civil suit with no determination of liability.

As part of the settlement, Michigan Medicine entered a three-year agreement with the DEA, which will outline the health system's future drug-handling responsibilities.

"At Michigan Medicine, we take these issues very seriously and are always in the business of improving what we do. We were not where we needed to be as a regulatory matter and, equally important, as measured against our own high standards," the health system said in an Aug. 30 statement cited by Detroit Free Press. "We've made multiple, substantial improvements to our pharmacy and controlled substance processes over the last several years and expect to continue those efforts in the future."

More articles on opioids: 

FDA to encourage development of nonopioid pain therapies

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Viewpoint: Trump administration should follow states' lead in opioid epidemic response

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