Thursday, December 27, 2012

More Transparency in and Easier Access of Discipline Records Needed: Tennessee Case Fails to Name Pharmacy and Pharmacists

By Doletta Sue Tuck
Originally Posted July 12, 2012
Reposted December 27, 2012

More transparency of disciplinary records is needed regarding violations of compounding rules and regulations.  Right now one must go to each individual state board of pharmacy to determine if a pharmacy or pharmacist that compounds drugs has been disciplined.  In same states, the records are not available online.  In other states, one maybe able to see that a pharmacist or pharmacy has been disciplined but it cannot be seen what the discipline was for.  In most states, you can obtain the information by writing the state board.  Some states require the requestor of the information to pay to have the information copied.  In other states, you can see that a compounding pharmacy or pharmacist was disciplined but you cannot determine the name of either.  An example of this is found in the board minutes of the Tennessee Department of Health Board of Pharmacy for Jan. 2012.  The minutes contain the following enter: 
Jan. 2012--Tennessee
5. Case No.: L11-PHR-RBS-20100093
Complaint generated from period inspection of Respondent’s compounding pharmacy. Periodic inspection found 20 partially filled compounding drugs which had expiration dates going back to 2009 and a hood which had not been recertified since 2007. At time of initial inspection Respondent stated that routine checks are conducted relating to expiration dates, however the shelf where the expired medication were found was inadvertently missed. A subsequent inspection was conducted which found that all expired drugs had been removed and that the non sterile hood had been recertified.
Prior discipline: none
Recommendation: Letter of Warning
Dr. Stephens made the motion to issue a Letter of Instruction to the pharmacy for the expired drugs. Dr. Smothers seconded the motion. The motion carried.
While this entry lets the public know that Tennessee is taking disciplinary action against pharmacies and pharmacists who break the compounding regulations and rules, it is not helpful  to consumers who want  to make informed decisions about which  pharmacies and pharmacists to use.  Easier access to disciplinary actions is greatly needed in the compounding world.  Such public access could encourage more compliance with the rules and regulations.

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