Wellness Pharmacy is fined $18,250

Posted: February 11, 2014

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A city drugstore has been ordered to pay an $18,250 fine by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

The Wellness Pharmacy, located at 2228 Papermill Road, was issued the penalty in a consent order dated Jan. 24, according to online records obtained from the Virginia Department of Health Professions.

Deficiencies at the pharmacy were found during records reviews in December 2012 and January 2013, as well as a “focused inspection” from April 24, according to the consent order.

These revealed multiple violations of the Virginia State Code regarding the regulation of pharmacies, according to the order, including the required inventory of Schedule 2 drugs not being kept, and Schedule 2 powders not being weighed and reconciled during a couple of inventories; compounded sterile products being given expiration dates longer than the U.S. Pharmacopeia-National Formulary permits; there not being records of sterility testing done on many of the compounds; expired drugs being kept with unexpired ones; and an inadequate alarm system.

Additionally, a pharmacy intern, “who had not passed any media-fill tests, was preparing high-risk [compounded sterile products] without personal supervision by a pharmacist,” the order says.

Another violation from 2012 came when 14.67 percent of the store’s gross annual sales were from controlled substances, even though The Wellness Pharmacy isn’t a licensed wholesale distributor. State code limits wholesale distribution of such drugs to 5 percent.

Pharmacist-in-charge Bruce Kowiatek said Monday that all of the issues have been corrected and that the fine has been paid.

“I met with the state board in November and showed them all the documentation [that] everything has been corrected,” Kowiatek said.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com