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Audit: N.C. prisons' pharmacy failed to track non-prescription drugs

Posted December 31, 2009

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— The state Division of Prisons' central pharmacy failed to keep track of its non-prescription drugs and protect them from being stolen or lost, according to an audit released Thursday.

In her report, State Auditor Beth Wood says the prison pharmacy "does not maintain adequate control" over the $25.1 million in drug and pharmaceutical supply purchases.

"Nor does it maintain adequate records to ensure that recorded inventory balances are accurate," according to the report.

Auditors said they observed pharmacists removing drugs from the stockroom without requesting the items from the stockroom staff. Also, those with access to the drugs also had the ability to adjust inventory records, the report found.

"Furthermore, the Central Pharmacy does not require special authorization or explanations for inventory adjustments made by Central Pharmacy staff," according to the report.

In June 2008, pharmacy staff performed an annual inventory count and found that 93 out of the 100 most expensive drugs counted did not agree with the inventory records.

In November 2008, the auditors performed an inventory count of 93 randomly selected items. Seventy-two out of 93 items did not agree with the recorded balance, the report states.

In their response to the audit, Department of Correction and prison leaders said they would need to hire more staff and have more time to put all the safety checks in place that auditors recommended.

Auditors responded and said prison officials did not thoroughly study the recommendations.

"Central Pharmacy’s response conflicts with known business practices," auditors said. "Consequently, the readers should not conclude that Central Pharmacy thoroughly studied our recommendations and determined that the costs would exceed the benefits."

23 Comments

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  • ecuwoman Jan 1, 2010

    atlast...I dont know where you receive your information (probably an inmate!!) but it is WRONG!!! The "form" you are referring to can have more than one complaint, and believe me, they do!!!!!The "guards" dont control who is seen by medical staff and who is not. They are not licensed to "triage", that is done by medical. And trust me, cold symptoms do not constitute an emergency...and guess what, neither does back pain or foot pain.....And as far as the inmate not "entitled" to the same level of care they receive on the outside....GIVE ME A BREAK....most of them get BETTER care than they have ever received. So, please know all the facts and dont just take an inmates word!!!

  • ty320f Dec 31, 2009

    "The TONS of *PRESCRIPTION* medication being sent to the landfill (because of the inefficient dispensing and delivery by NC DOC) is the real story. Forget the missing cough syrup and Tylenol. Thats piddly."

    those "tons" of prescription pills have been in the hands of inmates, and therefore BY LAW cannot be readministered. We went over this a while back and it was determined that there was an NC law requiring disposal..

  • Qwerty27807 Dec 31, 2009

    The TONS of *PRESCRIPTION* medication being sent to the landfill (because of the inefficient dispensing and delivery by NC DOC) is the real story. Forget the missing cough syrup and Tylenol. Thats piddly.

  • atlast Dec 31, 2009

    I disagree with prisoners getting better medial treatment. Guards control everything. A person also have to wait days to see someone and then it takes a long time to get any medicine if the person seeing you thinks you DESERVE relief.

    Another thing, if you have more than one medical concern,only one concern can to listed on the medical request form which may never be given to the prisoner without repeated requests. It may take up to a week for the requests to go through the chain of command only to be told we don't treat that here and you are in prison are are not entitled to the same level of treatment you got outside of here. The meds unaccounted for may be how trustees get drugs to pass to people confined to cages who don't DESERVE pain relief.

  • lumberman Dec 31, 2009

    Do not worry about it. It is only taxpayer money !

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 31, 2009

    Sabotage: Drastically cutting budgets for programs, below usable levels, and then pointing to any failures that may appear with "I told you so."

    It's also called hypocrisy.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Dec 31, 2009

    No matter at what level...it still smells like government, and when it's run by the government, there are monumental sized errors, incompetence, unexplained evaporation of huge sums of our money and my personal favorite....PROBABLY...MOST LIKELY.... CORRUPTION OF SOME SORT INVOLVED!

  • wayneboyd Dec 31, 2009

    OLE BEV SAID SHE WAS GOING TO MAKE GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENT, AND I SWEAR EVERYTIME I SIT DOWN HERE AND READ THE NEWS OR PICK UP A NEWSPAPER, OR TURN ON THE TV, BY GOD SHE'S DOING JUST THAT I SEE THEM LAUGHING IN MY FACE AND STEALING ME BLIND.

  • annemarek Dec 31, 2009

    All medications administered to inmates are recorded on a MAR (medication administration record). All medications are given in accordance to physician orders. There are medications that are listed as Standard orders. The Standard orders usually include things such as Tylenol, Milk of Magnesia, and anti-acid medication. The Standard orders also need a physician order. There is no medication that can be administered without a physician order. Medical staff does not withhold any prescribed medications. If a medical staff withheld any medication the inmate would demand to see a Sergeant and write a grievance against the staff. As a result, the staff would be held to questions and punishment. Inmates in NC receive better medical attention than you or I. This I know.

  • elcid liked Ike Dec 31, 2009

    And that's fine, Tommy, but if you spend more money on controlling the problem than you save by controlling it, the debt goes UP.

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