The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports a persistent problem police are discovering in drug crimes around the country. The article states that regardless of the safety measures a pharmacy takes, pharmacists are being found to have taken advantage of their access to controlled substances. Most pharmacists have unlimited access to prescription drugs. It is their job to regulate these drugs and distribute them only to those who have prescriptions issued by medical professionals. Some pharmacists, however, take advantage of their situation and steal controlled substances for personal use or redistribution.
A study performed by the Wisconsin State Journal found that, out of the 64 pharmacists that were reviewed by the board between 2011 and 2013 in Wisconsin, 41 of them were suspected of taking drugs from the pharmacies that employed them. Though these crimes are not that common, they suggest a disturbing new trend.
Though pharmacies require annual inventories and demand losses be reported to the federal government, thefts still happen. For example, in 2009 the UW hospital found that the head of their cancer pharmacy took more than 27,000 opiate pills over the course of three years. In a response to this, the pharmacy upped their security only to discover that another employee theft had occurred over a 2 month period. Pharmacists have gone as creating fake sales and falsifying records to cover up their thefts. In an attempt to curb these thefts, some pharmacies are increasing security by adding things such as random inventory audits and security cameras.
In Washington, the penalties for a prescription drug crime range from a class B to class C felony and can include up to 10 years in jail and up to $100,000 in fines. If you have been accused of a prescription drug crime for any type of drug offense in Seattle, contact a defense attorney right away. Fighting your charges is the only way you can attempt to avoid these penalties.