News of the Day ... in Perspective10/20/2004
Taxpayers to pay $0.50 per pill for controlled drugs missing from county hospital pharmacy
The Pima County (Arizona) Board of Supervisors agreed to pay the state $111,802 in the largest penalty yet assessed by the Pharmacy Board, because of failure to control more than 223,000 pills that disappeared from the Kino Community Hospital pharmacy in a one-year period. Initially, a $2.2 million fine had been sought.
An ongoing criminal investigation is focused on a two-year period during which about 475,000 pills vanished.
The investigation began when Kino’s pharmacist reported that large amounts of Vicodin, which contains hydrocodone, were missing (Arizona Daily Star 10/20/04).
Meanwhile, physicians continue to be scapegoated as the major source of drugs in illicit commerce.