The pharmacy catered to the patients of two physicians whom were later convicted of crimes in connection with their prescribing.
The pharmacy also had its license revoked after the state pharmacy board found that its employees failed to properly scrutinize prescriptions that contributed to patient deaths.
The interesting thing is that the patients of the pharmacy had all of the warning signs of nefarious intent. According to the article, the patients were all in their 20′s, all looking for Schedule II narcotics, the ones that are most commonly abused. They traveled more than 40 miles from their homes to go to this particular pharmacy. And they typically paid cash for their prescriptions.
These young men all had an obvious prescribing pattern and patient profile that should have drawn the attention of both the pharmacists and the physicians. But in the interest of money, they were will to turn a blind eye in prescribing the narcotics.
Because of that, the young men are now dead.
What could have prevented this situation?
Clearly, on the most fundamental level, the young men are responsible for their own behavior. They allowed themselves to get into a pattern where they used prescription drugs, became addicted, and then needed to get more to feed that addiction. It can certainly be argued that these men would have obtained the drugs somehow, be it from this pharmacy or through other mean.s Their own destructive behavior led to this outcome. That is true.
On the other hand, they would have never even received these drugs if the decision making power had been taken away from the pharmacists to begin with. Had their been a mechanism in place in which the pharmacists had easy access to their records, a system that prevented the pharmacist from even filling the prescription to begin with, then perhaps a lot more people would be unable to obtain drugs for nefarious purposes.
Had their been a state monitoring system in place that was able to work, the pharmacy would have had better oversight and checks and balances on their pharmacists. Instead, they continued the pattern of filling prescriptions for the wrong people. As a result, the pharmacy has been shut down, and there are thousands of individuals who are affected because of this, unable to fill their needed prescriptions at this location.
Article credit by Scott Glover and Lisa Girion - http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-rx-pharmacy-20140128,0,4310212.story#axzz2s1O973Xx