FLINT TWP. –Last week, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) served an order suspending the license to dispense controlled substances of All American Pharmacy LLC, 3104 Flushing Road, according to press release.
LARA also served an administrative complaint and an order suspending the pharmacist license of John Stephen Lind, R.Ph., All American’s pharmacist-in-charge, who is responsible for compliance with the Public Health Code.
The Michigan Public Health Code provides for summary suspension of licenses when the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action.
LARA’s administrative complaint alleges that All American failed to maintain effective controls against diversion of controlled substances and dispensed controlled substances without good faith, contrary to Michigan law. Michigan law requires pharmacists to exercise professional judgement and dispense controlled substances in “good faith” by taking into consideration things such as unusual dosages, frequency of prescriptions for the same drug by one prescriber for a large number of patients; quantities beyond those normally prescribed for the same drug and unusual geographic distances between patient, pharmacist, and prescriber.
LARA’s complaint also alleges that All American was among the highest-volume dispensers in Michigan of commonly abused and diverted controlled substances such as alprazolam, carisoprodol, and codeine/promethazine cough syrup, and that All American dispensed controlled substances prescriptions for numerous physicians later disciplined for overprescribing.
After reviewing data from the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), the State of Michigan’s prescription monitoring program, LARA discovered that All-American ranked among the highest-volume dispensers of commonly abused and diverted controlled substances in 2015, 2016, and the first quarter of 2017, according to the complaint.
LARA compared All-American’s dispensing of commonly abused and diverted controlled substances with four other nearby pharmacies. None of the other four pharmacies dispensed more than 53% of its total controlled substances in the categories identified.
Also, patients paid cash for more than thirty percent (30%) of the prescriptions All-American filled in 2015, for more than thirty-two percent (32%) of the prescriptions All-American filled in 2016, and for more than thirty-six percent (36%) of the prescriptions All- American filled through May 29 of this year. These rates triple the state average for cash payment and are indicative of prescriptions filled for the purpose of drug diversion, according to the complaint.
When interviewed by a LARA investigator, Lind allegedly admitted that he did not question the prescriptions being prescribed and dispensed the prescriptions without questioning the legitimate medical purpose for the prescriptions.
All-American did not respond to a media request for comment.
All controlled substances owned or possessed by All-American were seized, pending completion of proceedings.
Under law, Lind may file a petition for the dissolution of suspension with the LARA Bureau of Professional Licensing,
Governor Snyder’s Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force has called for a more comprehensive enforcement program against licensed health professionals and facilities who participate in overprescribing and over dispensing.
“The oversupply of medically unnecessary controlled substances continues to fuel the opioid crisis,” said LARA Director, Shelly Edgerton. “We will continue to shut down overprescribing professionals and anyone who enables them by unlawfully dispensing.”
For more information on disciplinary actions taken by the health professional licensing boards within LARA, please go to www.michigan.gov/healthlicense.