Iowa pharmacies sanctioned for prescription errors

By: - April 3, 2023 10:34 am

State regulators have fined an Iowa pharmacy accused of dispensing incorrect medication to a patient and destroying the relevant records. (Photo by Getty Images)

State regulators have penalized a Council Bluffs drug store accused of dispensing the incorrect medication to a customer and then destroying the relevant paperwork.

According to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, in September 2020, the Walgreens store at 535 E. Broadway, Council Bluffs, dispensed the incorrect strength of insulin pens, as well as the incorrect test strips, to a patient. During the subsequent investigation, the store was unable to provide some of the original documentation related to the prescription because the records had been destroyed in violation of Iowa regulations.

The Board of Pharmacy issued a warning to the store and imposed a $1,500 civil penalty. The store is  required to provide two hours of educational training on patient safety to all permanent pharmacists and technicians currently on staff.

More pharmacy sanctions

Other Iowa pharmacy licensees recently sanctioned include:

Hy-Vee Pharmacy, 3800 Lincoln Way, Ames: The store was charged with dispensing an incorrect prescription. According to the board, in October 2022, the pharmacy dispensed a prescription for topiramate – commonly used to prevent seizures or migraine headaches – with incorrect directions, which led to the customer taking a higher dosage than was prescribed. The pharmacy was given a warning and ordered to pay a $7,500 civil penalty.

Last October, the board alleged this same Hy-Vee Pharmacy dispensed two bottles of amoxicillin for a pediatric patient without the required counseling, and also failed to provide counseling for a phenobarbital prescription, resulting in a canine patient receiving an excessive dose of the medication. In that case, the board imposed a $5,000 civil penalty.

Reliable Healthcare Logistics, which holds licenses for entities based in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas: The board recently issued an emergency order suspending all licenses, and denying all license applications for, entities affiliated RHL. The board has charged RHL with 26 counts of regulatory violations, including fraud in procuring a license and conviction of a crime related to the distribution of prescription drugs.

All of the alleged facts that triggered the charges – including the alleged criminal convictions, which would be a matter of public record — have redacted from public view pursuant to a 2021 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that keeps such information confidential until a case is resolved.

Scott Mouw of Tea, S.D.: According to the board, Mouw was convicted in 2018 of possession of a controlled substance – cloneazepam, a drug used to treat anxiety and seizures – through theft, forgery or fraud. Also in 2018, Mouw’s South Dakota pharmacy license was placed on probation after he was accused of diverting prescription drugs to his own use.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy recently agreed to approve Mouw’s application for a license subject to his agreement to participate in a monitoring program. Once the license is approved, it will be subject to a formal citation by the Iowa board based on the South Dakota board’s actions.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.