Local News

WakeMed Pharmacist Charged With Stealing Medication

Posted February 7, 2008 3:57 p.m. EST
Updated February 7, 2008 11:50 p.m. EST

— The manager of WakeMed Raleigh's pharmacy was fired Thursday after being charged with stealing medication.

Investigators said Scott Wayne Savage, 30, stole a generic form of the drug Ritalin from the hospital's inventory. He was charged with acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, according to court documents.

WakeMed officials said a sophisticated system for tracking drugs as they are dispensed alerted them that some medication had disappeared.

"Almost immediately, we got an indication that there was an issue with the inventory," Deborah Friberg, vice-president of WakeMed, said.

An investigation turned up surveillance footage of Savage taking generic form of Ritalin from the pharmacy's supply. Savage was terminated from the hospital, and his pharmacist's license was suspended, officials said.

"I think first and foremost, we are disappointed," Friberg said. "We go to great lengths to make sure that the employees we have in place, the people that we hire meet only the highest standards."

The hospital will do an audit of all its prescription drug inventory and review the system that tracks when and how many drugs are dispensed, Friberg said.

Savage declined to comment on the case Thursday.

Ritalin is most commonly prescribed to children and adolescents who suffer from attention-deficit disorder. However, when crushed into powder and snorted, Ritalin and its generic forms can have the same affect as cocaine and speed on a person who does not need the drug.

Savage had been hired by WakeMed a couple months ago after working as a pharmacist for five years. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

He also served as a speaker for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Police released Savage after he signed a written promise to appear at his first scheduled court appearance at 9 a.m. Friday.