An Owasso pharmacy was cited and fined by the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy last week for alleged prescription mistakes.
The board reports that the CVS in Owasso, 12902 E. 96th St. North, violated provisions in the Oklahoma Pharmacy Act after a complaint was filed in July 2019 claiming that a pharmacist at the store incorrectly filled a patient’s medication.
According to the complaint, the mistake resulted in a boy receiving one-fourth of the medication he was prescribed.
During the 18 days before the mistake was discovered, the boy suffered increased and more violent seizures. One incident was so severe, the report states, that it left him with a gash on his forehead and several facial abrasions while at school.
The board carried out a full investigation, steered by Executive Director Marty Hendrick, which revealed a 9.5% misfill rate at the Owasso store, potentially caused by inadequate staffing. It also led to the discovery of alleged similar problems at three other CVS locations in Oklahoma.
“We investigated some of those complaints and realized that this wasn’t just a one-off problem in Owasso,” Hendrick said, “but also in Bartlesville where we found a 21% rate of error, Moore where we found a 6.3% error, and Choctaw where we found a 6% error rate.”
The board on Wednesday, July 15, fined the four stores a combined total of $125,000, with Owasso receiving a $75,000 penalty — the highest permitted amount under state law — and two years of probation.
The New York Times reported the board’s actions against the pharmacy in a story published to its website the same day.
The action comes as part of an agreement between the board and CVS to resolve the grievances filed against the four pharmacies in Oklahoma. A CVS spokesperson said that the agreement is not an admission to the allegations within the complaints.
“We are committed to complying with these Board Orders, and we look forward to working cooperatively with the Board of Pharmacy in our common goal of providing safe and high-quality pharmacy services to Oklahoma patients,” the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to the Owasso Reporter.
The four Oklahoma CVS stores in violation of protocol are expected to introduce new training for technicians, improved staffing regulations and a pilot program that checks for errors, to name a few solutions outlined in the agreement, Hendrick said.
Aron Brown, the father of the boy who received the misfilled prescription, said he is disappointed with the penalties imposed on CVS.
“We don’t care about a monetary benefit, we don’t care about what CVS has to be penalized to pay,” Brown said. “They don’t even have to accept fault, they don’t have to change their practices … It just seems like nothing will change.”
Brown added that his son now has an adverse reaction to taking his medications, which he believes is due to the misfilled prescriptions.
“He’s been doing better, but there was a lot of odd emotional damage that came from it for him,” Brown said. “… He’s become extremely fearful of his medicine and kind of tries not to take it.”
Hendrick said he’s confident the actions taken against CVS will go toward preventing these problems, and bring justice to patients like Brown’s son who have been negatively affected by the company’s alleged mismanagement.
“A lot of people look to the fine, but I think it’s the action … with the pharmacies,” Hendrick said. “My hope is that staffing itself corrects along with this action to increase patient safety. We’re looking to protect the public, and we’re going to be very active in this.”
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