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How easy it is to steal drugs in a pharmacy?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by JackFruitLover, 04.03.09.

  1. JackFruitLover

    JackFruitLover Member

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    Have you worked with any pharmacists that were caught stealing drugs?
  2. meister

    meister Senior Member

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    It's incredibly easy, and I've worked with techs who sold meds on the side (they were all caught and fired).
  3. 168533

    168533

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    We had one tech at another Walgreens down the street from out that got arrested for stealing about 10 big jugs of hydrocodone. Not all at once, but through the course of him working there.
  4. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    As long as you know how to do it right, it's pretty easy. I've worked with techs who have gone on stealing unnoticed for months, until they got sloppy.

    Once you start taking the prescription bottles out of bags in the waiting bin, you're going to get caught.
  5. fhx06

    fhx06 lolwut?

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    Hospitals using the single-dose methods of dispensing medications probably have that problem. The single-dose packages are generally small enough to slip into your pocket. I don't know if anyone has ever done it at the hospital I worked at, but I've always wondered. Controlled medications are under lock and key and must be signed out so unless a person has access to someone else's access ID and password, the pharmacy department would know who took out what med at what time.
  6. FarscapeGirl

    FarscapeGirl

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    This is slightly off topic, but it kind of is relevant to the previous post. So when I volunteered in a hospital, I heard that doctors would put some of the small vials in their pockets for later use. Time would pass, and the doctors would find the drugs, and put them back on the shelves or wherever. The annoying thing is that they are sometimes expired. Even though apparently the techs check the dates on the drugs outside of the pharmacy frequently, the pharmacy board sometimes ends up dinging the pharmacy for having expired meds there, even though the pharmacy can't control them as vigorously.
  7. powertoold

    powertoold

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    It's not easy to steal controlled substances in the hospital, but everything else is as easy as putting it in your pocket and walking away.

    In the hospital, I would put drugs in my pocket so I can bag them later. Sometimes, I'd forget something and find it in my pocket later. No one really keeps track, but I'm sure if they compare the MAR and medication orders, they can find large discrepancies.
  8. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist

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    There was a nurse at another jail who was stealing Oxycocet and Oxycontin that were packaged in unit dose strips. She used a scalpel to slice open the strips of packets and replaced the Oxycocet with Seroquel 200 mg (similar looking, at least in Canada). For the Oxycontin, she only stole the 10 mg, which she replaced with Toradol 10 mg (similar size white tablet).
  9. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD

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    yeah if you work in a backwards hospital. Most hospitals I have been to and the one I work in puts those unit doses in a pyxis machine in the pharmacy and on the floors. In order to dispense it, it goes from the pyxis safe in the pharmacy, put into the floor pyxis machine for dispensing. All along the way, you have fingerprints and passwords to get in and alter the counts. Counts are done after removing drug from the safe, in the machine before putting it in, and when the nurse removes it. I don't think its easy at all. If the counts
  10. fhx06

    fhx06 lolwut?

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    The hospital uses McKesson's Robot-RX and Accudose systems so it's not backwards or devoid of technology. I'm saying that with the amount of medications going out and coming back in, the single-dose medications can easily be slipped into someone's pockets. Are you telling me that you've seen a hospital where no technician has touched a medication, no medication has ever come back into the pharmacy, or there has never been an instance when the count for a medication in the Pyxis is wrong?
  11. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD

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    There are so many safeguards in check to prevent that its not even funny. The real abuse potential lies with nurses. Medications are hand delievered to machines but They are signed and checked by pharmacists before they leave the pharmacy. The dispensing system is alerted when a medication is expected and how much to expect. Anytime there is a discrepancy, a report is run and we have people that work in the pharmacy whose sole job is to look at those reports and track down why and where the error in counts had taken place. They are tracked and reported. Even a single dosage unit that would go missing would be noted.

    There are ways to scam the system but stealing controls in our hospital would not be easy by any means
  12. fhx06

    fhx06 lolwut?

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    Yeah... I'm not talking about controls. I'm just talking about the non-controlled fast movers that are sent up to the floors via pneumatic tubes.
  13. free09

    free09

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    I used to work at a big pharmacy and we used to have a floater who was really weird (talked in a robotic voice...when he used to share m&ms, he used to count them out, etc) and he got caught stealing CIIs. Anyway I was surprised that even after the DM found out, nothing was done! He got fired...but I just met him a month ago and he was working at CVS! I wonder how he got a recommendation..i'm sure he is stealing again.

    Another incident--we had an 18 yr old tech who stole viagra and money...the old pharmacist i worked with said that he doesn't even use that much...lol. he got fired too. he was given 3 days to return the stolen money.

    so if you wanted to steal one pill, theoretically you could. when we do inventory, we do take into account that some pills get crushed or spilled, so not every single pill is accounted for. so even though all the cases i have seen haven't resulted in any criminal record, why risk your future? and anyway, there are a lot of doctors who are basically rx generators...bad for the profession, but good if you want to keep things legal.
  14. Quiksilver

    Quiksilver Secundum Artem PharmD

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    bingo:thumbup:
  15. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    How easy it is to steal money in a bank? How easy is it to skim the cash register 7-11? How easy is it to steal a car? How easy is it to rob a bank?

    All are actually really easy to do. The better question is; How easy is it to get away with one of these things? Not really easy at all. You might get lucky once but you won'y be lucky every time.
  16. efocmacro

    efocmacro

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    your attempt at logic has failed
  17. plsfoldthx

    plsfoldthx

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    doesnt seem that easy
  18. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    Your attempt at making a point has failed.
  19. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Ehh, CIIs are usually only stealable by pharmacists or whoever has access to the safe, since at our store only the pharmacists can open up the safe.

    One time, we were filling a prescription for like #240 Morphine Sulfate IR. The pharmacist asked me to double count it. I did it, and I didn't put a cap on it before attempting to hand it back so while I was moving towards the pharmacist I tripped and there go 240 Morphine Sulfate IR flying onto the floor. :eek:
  20. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD

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    hah, good story. once when i was opening a new bottle of some c2 or other and pulling a cotton out, the cotton popped about 15 of the pills out and they went flying all over the pharmacy!:laugh:
  21. free09

    free09

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    Your analogy doesn't really work here because diverting pills is definitely a lot easier than stealing a car or robbing a bank!! The possibility of jail time with robbing a bank is virtually 100%...the possibility of jail time for having an crestor in your pocket is virtually nil.

    Anyway, I would like to think that even with a zero chance of prosecution, people in our profession would not steal anything!

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