[Pharmwaste] RE: Criminal activity related to Med Take Back Events

Volkman, Jennifer (MPCA) jennifer.volkman at state.mn.us
Tue Jan 22 15:12:04 EST 2013

Seriously. We've had a couple of convictions in MN of law enforcement staff raiding the evidence room for drugs. In fact, it delayed the implementation of a pharm collection program in one county. I think it is common knowledge that it occurs. DEA also busted a registered reverse distributor here in MN for skimming pills. Do you want me to find the reports for those? We don't have any reports of theft by pharm collection event workers, but we don't really do events in MN much anymore. Collection occurs at LE facilities.

I've participated in events and it may have been possible for me to scoop a few loose pills into my pocket when law enforcement wasn't looking directly at me, but I was also surrounded by pharmacists, event staff and the public-way too risky for anyone but a really desperate person. The idea of walking around with actual bottles sticking out of your pockets at an event is crazy, unless it was an outdoor event in MN today and a worker had on a huge parka. I don't think it is near the same level of risk as, say, the potential for law enforcement to skim hundreds of pills during the transport back to their facility or in the evidence room. In fact, some police chiefs will tell you that the lack of documentation and pill counts makes them very uncomfortable. Some would prefer their staff count CS pills as they are bagged at an event.

We have one program that does quarterly events. At these events, LE bags the CS pills/patches/liquids and uses a food saver to shrink wrap them. :) Then they use a digital scale to get an accurate weight for each bag. Then they put the bags in another container and put evidence tape on that. And we all watch. I don't know if they are required to email a report to headquarters with what they are bringing in, but if I was transporting, I'd want that for my own protection. This is pretty quick and simple to do, but I don't see any suggestions like that in the proposed rules.

This mail back twist is just plain weird, no accountability there! LTC workers are probably in the best position to steal pills of anyone out there and there are plenty of convictions...maybe add that in as well?


From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Jaramillo, Jeanie
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:33 PM
To: 'pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us'
Subject: [Pharmwaste] Criminal activity related to Med Take Back Events

Hello All,

I've done more reading of the proposed new rule for the collection of controlled substances.  I find it interesting that they propose only law enforcement handle the meds at a community take back and specifically state that volunteers should not handle meds due to the increased risk of diversion.  Yet, they go on to the mail-back program which includes mail carriers handling the meds and to a suggestion that these meds be mailed directly to a law enforcement dept where a "full time employee" without a record may handle the packages.  There seems to be no method to how they determine what "acceptable risk" is....

So, I'm requesting your help.  I've seen several posts of newspaper/media reports where officers were charged with theft of meds from take back programs and I've seen reports where mail carriers have been charged with theft of mail-order meds (amongst other things).  I haven't seen reports of take back volunteers being charged (though I do see the risk and I'm not debating that it has/will or will not happen.)  I'd like to compile these different reports.  So, if you have one saved somewhere and could forward them (or their link) to me, I'd appreciate it.

Comments to the proposed rule are due by Feb. 19th - don't let it slip by.

Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo, PharmD
Managing Director, Texas Panhandle Poison Center
Director, Medication Cleanout
Assistant Professor, Texas Tech UHSC School of Pharmacy
1501 S. Coulter St.
Amarillo, TX 79106
P: (806) 354-1611
C: (806) 672-0833
F: (806) 354-1667
Cisco IP: 30412

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