Des Moines Walgreens store faces new charges of prescription-filling errors

By: - May 9, 2023 4:56 pm

This Walgreens store 3140 S.E. 14th St. in Des Moines has been fined $5,000 for prescription-filling errors. (Photo via Google Earth)

A Des Moines pharmacy already on probation has been fined $5,000 for incorrectly filling customers’ prescriptions.

The civil penalty is part of a settlement agreement that the Walgreens store at 3140 S.E. 14th St. made with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy.

In September 2021, the store was inspected and it was found that the on-hand count of hydrocodone was short 247 tablets, after which a board compliance officer requested a full audit of all Schedule II controlled substances, according to board records. That audit identified a shortage of 44 tablets of oxycodone, and a shortage of 60 capsules of dexmethylphenidate.

Last spring, the store was fined $750 for hiring two pharmacy technician trainees in February 2021, although the two did not register with the board until the following July. The store had previously received a warning for having an unregistered technician trainee on staff.

Last summer, the store was the target of a complaint alleging that patient counseling was not provided to a patient given a new prescription for prednisone. The store’s security video recordings confirmed that counseling was not provided. The store’s license was placed on probation for one year and the store was fined $10,000.

The Board of Pharmacy now alleges the store committed three instances of dispensing the incorrect prescription to a patient.

According to the board, on Sept. 21, 2022, the store dispensed a prescription for acetaminophen for a pediatric patient and incorrectly labeled it as ibuprofen. On that same day, the store dispensed a prescription for ibuprofen for the same pediatric patient and incorrectly labeled it as acetaminophen. The store also dispensed amoxicillin-clavulanate, instead of the prescribed amoxicillin, for that same pediatric patient.

In the settlement agreement with the store, the board noted the store “has been previously disciplined by the board on multiple occasions and has received prior administrative warnings for medication errors.”

The number of administrative warnings issued by the board is not disclosed in the settlement agreement.

As part of the agreement, the store must pay a $5,000 civil penalty and have all of its pharmacists and technicians who were employed by the store last September complete two hours of continuing education related to patient safety.

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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.