Nantucket Cottage Hospital Settles Allegations of Improperly Handling Controlled Drugs

COURTESY OF WWW. NANTUCKET-MA.GOV

NANTUCKET – The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached a $50,000 civil settlement with Nantucket Cottage Hospital Tuesday for improperly handling controlled substances and recordkeeping.

According to the settlement, the investigation revealed that the hospital failed to account for several controlled substances, improperly placed prescription drugs in an unlocked pharmacy refrigerator and stored keys for the expired medications cabinet in an unlocked pharmacy drawer.

The hospital also failed to maintain invoices and other records required by law.

“Under the law, hospitals like NCH have a special responsibility to ensure that controlled substances are used for patient care and are not diverted for non-medical uses,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

“Diversion of these drugs feeds addiction and fuels the opioid epidemic that has had devastating effects throughout Massachusetts, including in island communities like Nantucket.”

In a statement, Nantucket Cottage Hospital said it takes its responsibilities for the storage and recordkeeping of controlled substances very seriously, and cooperated fully with the investigation.

“We are confident no patients were harmed as a result of these issues, and that no controlled substances were diverted into the community,” the statement said. “Nantucket Cottage Hospital has used the findings as an opportunity to improve medication security, reporting, and recordkeeping procedures that will ensure the continued safe handling of controlled substances.”

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