Ohio pharmacy provider suspended from distribution after 890 COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted

SpecialtyRx, a pharmacy provider in Columbus, Ohio, was suspended from distributing COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 20 after the state's health department discovered the provider potentially mishandled and wasted 890 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Ohio Department of Health said the provider was given 1,500 vaccine doses to give to residents at eight long-term care facilities. The provider gave the first doses and had 890 left over. The company was looking into transferring the remaining doses to another provider when it discovered it failed to properly monitor the temperatures in its refrigerator and freezer holding the vaccines, the health department said. 

The health department launched an investigation and determined the 890 Moderna vaccines were not viable. The department halted any future vaccine allocations to SpecialtyRx and the provider has been told not to give or transfer any of the 890 spoiled doses. 

The eight long-term care facilities that received their first doses of the vaccines from SpecialtyRx will have to coordinate with another provider, likely the local health department, to obtain second doses for their patients, the Ohio Department of Health said. 

The department also requested the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy open an investigation into SpecialtyRx.

More articles on pharmacy:
Drugmakers begin testing COVID-19 vaccines in children
Hospitals mark up drug prices by 250% on average, analysis finds
Michigan health system to pay largest settlement for alleged drug diversion in US history


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