Safety

MGH to pay $2.3 million for drug theft allegations

Hospital Safety Insider, October 1, 2015

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Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) just got hit with the largest fine ever involving allegations of drug diversion at a hospital, according to a report from Patch.com.

In the settlement, MGH agreed to pay a federal fine of $2.3 million to resolve allegations that lax controls enabled MGH employees to steal controlled substances for personal use. MGH has also agreed to implement a comprehensive corrective action plan to prevent, identify, and address future diversions, the report says.

The settlement stems from a 2013 investigation following an MGH disclosure to the Drug Enforcement Administration that two of its nurses had stolen large volumes of prescription medications from the hospital, according to Patch.com. Altogether, the two nurses stole nearly 16,000 pills, mostly the addictive painkiller oxycodone, from automated dispensing machines that MGH used to store and dispense prescription medications.

Also according to the report, MGH disclosed that a pediatric nurse with a 12-year substance abuse problem had injected himself with Dilaudid at work; a physician had prescribed controlled substances for patients without seeing them and without maintaining medical records; several nurses were able to divert prescription drugs for many years without being detected; and medical staff had failed to properly secure controlled substances, even occasionally bringing them to lunch.

Read more here.



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