The Detroit News recently reported the largest settlement sum in U.S. history for alleged drug diversion. A Michigan Health System agreed to the record $7.75 million penalty for allegations of inappropriate pharmacy operations involving drug diversion. The Investigation by Drug Enforcement Officials uncovered irregularities concerning the distribution, dispensing, and record keeping of controlled substances as well as a pharmacist who had been diverting opioids for personal use over the course of several years.
While this new case represents the largest financial amercement sum we have seen to date, events such as these are not isolated occurrences. Statistics on the proliferation of diversion and misuse of drugs and their devastating impacts are mounting.
- There are over 103,000 known drug abusers among Physicians, Nurses, Medical Technicians, and Aides.
- 37% of Hospital Pharmacists have experienced a diversion event and 22% of staff have observed colleagues changing their behavior to evade diversion prevention technology.
- Diversion events cost the Healthcare Industry an estimated $25 billion per year.
- 19% of Pharmacists have reported using controlled substances without a prescription and 17.6% of Physicians have reported using controlled substances for self-treatment.
- Among Nurses, 20% admitted to misusing prescriptions one or more of the following: 60% used Opioids, 45% used Tranquilizers, 11% used Sedatives, 3.5% used Amphetamines, and 1.9% used Inhalants.
In addition to the largest settlement sum for diversion-related violations in U.S. history, the $6 billion health system will establish a controlled substance oversight committee to implement a systemwide drug diversion policy. Develop a task force responsible for monitoring protocol compliance, and require specialized training for over 10,000 employees with regular access to controlled substances. When questioned about the findings, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said the facility “clearly didn’t have a sufficient system in place to catch these problems. But now, under this settlement, (They) are stepping up and implementing more robust compliance measures.” Comprehensive solutions are crucial for ensuring the safety of our medication and patients.
For over 50 years, IMI has led the way in developing innovative solutions to enhancing drug security. Experts agree that tamper-evident technology is essential to an overall drug security program and a simple solution to providing an extra security level to compounded preparations and controlled substances. IMI’s Prep-Lock Brand of products offers industry-leading tamper-evident security for IV, Oral, and Enteral Syringes, IV Bags, and Medication Cassettes.
Ready To Talk About Diversion Prevention
IMI’s has a dedicated team of specialist available to discuss easily implemented solutions to fortifying your drug security programs, increasing protocol compliance, and enhancing medication safety.
1. Drug use data from the U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2. The 2019 State of Hospital Operations. 3.National Drug Safety Network News Brief – Drug Use Trends. (Dec. 6, 2006). 4. Trinkoff AM, Storr CL, Wall MP. Prescription-type drug misuse and workplace access among nurses. J addict Dis. 1999. 5. Robert Snell, The Detrit News, https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/01/19/mclaren-health-agrees-record-7-75-m-penalty-following-drug-probe/4219917001/ 6. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mclaren-health-care-settles-with-dea-301211330.html