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Santa Clarita City Council candidate faces violation allegations

Posted: March 19, 2014 7:06 p.m.
Updated: March 19, 2014 7:06 p.m.

Local pharmacist and Santa Clarita City Council candidate Moazzem Chowdhury faces a complaint filed last November alleging several violations at one of his pharmacies in Lancaster, according to the California Board of Pharmacy.

The complaint, filed on Nov. 19, alleges that during a routine inspection in June 2010, an inspector found that confidential patient information had been discarded in the normal trash without first shredding documents or redacting specific patient information.

“These came up during a routine inspection,” Board of Pharmacy spokeswoman Joyia Emard said Wednesday of the allegations in the complaint. “There wasn’t a complaint that brought it on; they discovered the discrepancies during the inspection.”

Another alleged finding outlined in the complaint is that Lancaster pharmacy employees dispensed prescriptions for “Schedule II” drugs without obtaining proper verification.

Schedule II drugs are those considered to be dangerous, physically or psychologically addictive or that have a high potential for abuse, according to Emard.

Another alleged violation was that the pharmacy did not have complete documentation of a pharmacy-to-pharmacy purchase.

“With drugs that are considered dangerous, they have to have a firm accounting of those,” Emard said.

A drug audit conducted between June 19, 2009, and June 8, 2010, showed 20 patches of Fentanyl 50mcg and one patch of Fentanyl 100mcg were unaccounted for, according to the complaint.

Fentanyl is a powerful pain medication.

Emard said a hearing date on the complaint has not yet been set, but that such a hearing will be held.
“I would say these allegations are fairly serious,” Emard said.

Chowdhury is one of 13 candidates running for the three seats up for grabs in the April 8 Santa Clarita City Council election.

According to his campaign website, Chowdhury “owns and operates two pharmacies: Desert Drug Pharmacy (formerly Medicine Shoppe) in Canyon Country, and Desert Drugs in Lancaster. Newhall Pharmacy in Newhall and Crown Valley Pharmacy in Acton are also currently under his management.”

He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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