50,000 painkillers stolen from pharmacy

May 13, 2015

The Virginia State Board of pharmacy has temporarily closed a Richmond pharmacy from which more than 50,000 controlled substances were stolen during a two-year period, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone.

The Virginia State Board of pharmacy has temporarily closed a Richmond pharmacy from which more than 50,000 controlled substances were stolen during a two-year period, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone.

The owners of Westbury Pharmacy issued a statement in which they blamed a janitor for the thefts. Click here to read that statement. The janitor, Chauncey Andrey Carter Sr., pled guilty to theft-related charges and is incarcerated.

 Pharmacist allegedly stole nearly 200,000 pills

"We have cooperated with the board of pharmacy during its entire investigation, changed our management, restructured our operations, and implemented a comprehensive corrective action plan," the Westbury owners stated. "We are surprised and dismayed that the board has temporarily shut down our prescription department. Safeguarding the health of our patients and serving this community have always been our highest priorities."

According to the board of pharmacy, the massive thefts were discovered during drug audits in 2012 and 2014. Investigators said the pharmacy did not properly secure the drugs.

The controlled substances were in a storage cabinet that was locked. However, investigators said the key to the storage cabinet and the alarm code were posted near the control panel. At other times, the alarm was not activated.

 

Surprise inspections of the pharmacy in May 2014 and February 2015 and an additional drug audit found other serious problems.

"These deficiencies included issues with drug storage and security which may have contributed to a loss of over 50,000 tablets of controlled substances; medications in the pharmacy's drug stock that were expired or mislabeled; medications that were unlabeled or without expiration dates; bottles containing medications from two different manufacturers; and bottles with pills in excess of the amount listed on the label," according to a report.

That report also cited deficiencies in the compounding of sterile products and fraudulent billing activities. A formal hearing on the report will be held later this month.

While Carter admitted stealing the pills to trade for cocaine, he claimed in a television interview that he did not steal 50,000 and that others were involved in the thefts. “I knew a lot of stuff was going on in there that shouldn’t have been going on,” Carter told WTVR. “But that wasn’t my business.”

Click here to see his interview.

See also: Thousands of painkillers missing from 4 CVS stores