A South Lyon pharmacist has been sanctioned for distributing tainted injections, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Steve Arwood said in a statement.
Specialty Medicine Compounding Pharmacy and its owner, Kenny Walkup, will pay $100,000 in fines. Additionally, Walkup’s license has been revoked for three years and Specialty Medicine’s license has been permanently suspended.
The sanctions are a result of a formal complaint filed by Schuette after the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs received a report of tainted dextrose injections distributed by pharmacy to Henry Ford Hospital in October 2013.
Staff at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit recognized foreign objects floating in the vials, and following laboratory confirmation of the contaminate, reported the incident to the Food and Drug Administration and sent a copy of the report to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Bureau of Health Care Services on Oct. 17, 2013. Immediately following the report, the Henry Ford Hospital began efforts to contact their patients who may have received the contaminated drug.
No illnesses were reported, but Schuette and Arwood said the error was a violation of public trust.
“Michigan citizens trust pharmacists to follow the laws designed to keep consumers safe, and these sanctions send the message that we’re serious about public safety and welfare,” Schuette said.
Arwood said the sanctions show “zero tolerance for any pharmacist who does not exercise the highest standard of care and regard for the life and safety of our citizens.”
The Michigan Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Subcommittee approved a consent order that calls for the following sanctions:
Permanent surrender of Specialty Medicine’s pharmacy license, effectively barring the company from ever doing business again in the state of Michigan.
Three year revocation of owner-pharmacist Kenny Walkup’s individual pharmacist license. Walkup’s license would not be automatically re-instated at the end of the three year period. He would have to file an application for a new license and go before the Board of Pharmacy to prove why he should be issued a new license.
$100,000 in total fines paid to the state: $50,000 for the pharmacy and $50,000 for the pharmacist.
Schuette filed the complaint and order for suspension shortly after the discovery of the tainted drugs. The pharmacy’s license was for individual prescriptions for patients, but it was distributing large amounts of medicine to hospitals and clinics.Veterinarian clinics may also have received the tainted drugs.
Walkup’s application for a manufacturer’s license on behalf of Specialty Medicine Compounding Pharmacy was pending at the time the tainted injections were discovered, prompting the investigation.
Both the pharmacist’s and pharmacy’s licenses were suspending pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.
Schuette said he also is reviewing whether additional legal action is warranted in connection to reports of tainted dextrose injections allegedly manufactured and distributed by Specialty Medicine Compounding Pharmacy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a voluntary recall of the affected drugs on October 22, 2013. More information can be found on the FDA web site.