California seeks disciplinary action against UC Los Angeles pharmacy after investigation reveals it distributed drugs with expired ingredients

The California State Board of Pharmacy is pursuing  disciplinary action against an off-campus UC Los Angeles pharmacy after an investigation last October revealed the facility compounded drugs with "expired and potentially dangerous ingredients," The Los Angeles Times reports.

State inspectors discovered more than 1,000 IV bags of sterile medications for heart patients and others with serious health issues contained expired and potentially toxic ingredients during a routine inspection of UCLA Medical Center Pharmaceutical Technology in October 2016. At least 350 bags of the medications were allegedly delivered to patients across the UCLA health system, including to patients at Los Angeles-based Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the report states.

The expired drugs, which included medications used in cardiac surgery and other surgical procedures, ranged in expiration dates from November 2015 to September 2016, one month before the state officials conducted their inspection, according to the report.

UCLA reportedly closed the pharmacy within days of the inspection.

The state pharmacy board filed a formal accusation in July seeking disciplinary sanctions against Richard C. Graul, PharmD, who was the pharmacist in charge of the facility and the pharmacy. The pending accusation alleged the pharmacy "lacked the proper licensing, used expired drugs in compounding sterile medications [and] failed to meet state standards for quality assurance and product testing," the report states.

UCLA issued a statement Sept. 15, stating the health system closed the facility "because it was providing services that were redundant to services available elsewhere," and there were "no allegations or findings that outdated ingredients were administered to patients." The health system noted "neither the board nor UCLA identified outdated or adulterated ingredients administered to patients."

The health system also stated it "remov[ed] and destroy[ed] any outdated ingredients" per its policy.

To read the full report, click here.

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