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Zachary pharmacies close; federal probe found 'reckless' dispensing of drugs

1 year 6 months 1 week ago Tuesday, January 03 2023 Jan 3, 2023 January 03, 2023 6:29 PM January 03, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - Two Zachary pharmacies closed their doors permanently this week, ending a presence in that city that dates to 1968.

A social media post by Medical Pharmacy, Inc. – on Christmas Eve – directed customers to Central Pharmacy, on Sullivan road in Baton Rouge, where their prescriptions would be transferred following the early 2023 shut-down.

A phone call produced a recorded message that thanked the community for its support over more than 50 years.

The executive director of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy tells WBRZ that his office was notified on Dec. 23 that the company’s locations on Church Street and on West Park Drive would cease operations on Jan. 2.

He noted that the state board had no disciplinary action in place that would have led to the closures.

However, a WBRZ News review of federal records shows that the Drug Enforcement Administration called for the revocation of Medical Pharmacy, Inc.’s Certificate of Registration “because on numerous occasions between October 2016 and September 2019, it repeatedly filled prescriptions without addressing or resolving factual indicia (i.e., ‘‘red flags’’) of potential drug diversion. According to the Government, this constituted unlawfully reckless and negligent dispensing.”

The findings were published as “conclusively established in this case.” The Federal Register of Dec. 20, 2021, indicates that applications for renewal of the company's registration should be denied.

The decision was approved by DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

Messages left for the DEA seeking further comment were not returned as of Tuesday evening. WBRZ has requested a statement from the company, as well.

Medical Pharmacy, Inc., served as a compounding pharmacy – meaning its locations could combine drugs and other ingredients on site to serve patients with certain special needs. Its first location opened in 1968, followed by the second in 2005.

The company’s website notes its pharmacists combined for 200 years of experience and specialized clinical training.

The documents reviewed by WBRZ show the pharmacies were licensed to handle controlled substances as potent as those classified as “Schedule II” – with a high potential for abuse that could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Schedule II examples include narcotics with medical uses, such as fentanyl, methadone and oxycodone.

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