Apparently, Virginia is super-serious about enforcing laws and regulations when it comes to drugs, including prescription drugs. News broke today that the Board of Pharmacy has closed the pharmacy of a Richmond drug store after, among other issues, a janitor was found to have stolen “substantial amounts of pain medications.” But then again, maybe Virginia is super-serious about enforcing laws and regulations when it comes to drugs sometimes. But, apparently, not all the time.
How do we know this? Over the past two years, Department of Health inspectors have found multiple – multiple – examples of Virginia’s abortion centers violating state and federal drug laws and regulations. This list includes (but is by no means limited to) the following:
In its October 14, 2014 inspection report of the A Capital Womens Health Clinic in Richmond, Department of Health officials found unlicensed staff handling narcotics and improper documentation of narcotics:
“Observations were conducted on 10/14/14, at approximately 11:00am, with Staff #1 and #2. During the initial tour of the facility, the observation revealed Staff #1 and #2 were in control of the keys to the locked narcotic cabinet. Staff #2 prepared to count the narcotics with the surveyors. Staff #1 informed Staff #2 and the surveyors that he/she had accepted delivery of narcotic medications, which ‘have not been added to the count.’ Staff #1 stated, ‘The narcotics I received today are in a plastic bag inside the [narcotic] cabinet.’ Review of personnel files revealed Staff #1 and Staff #2 were not licensed healthcare professionals. The personnel files for Staff #1 and Staff #2 did not have documented approval from the governing body to accept the delivery of narcotics and to possess keys to the locked narcotic cabinet.”
In its December 17, 2014 inspection report of the Annandale Women & Family Center, officials reported a lack of required background checks for staff handling narcotics, failure to properly document narcotics and lack of oversight of narcotics:
“The COV section 32.1-126.02 requires a CRC be obtained on any compensated employee not licensed by the Board of Pharmacy, whose job duties provide access to controlled substances within the facility. CRC checks had not been obtained for Staff Person #1, a Registered Nurse, Staff Person #7, a physician, and Staff Person #8, a physician.
“Review of the facility’s narcotic log book revealed multiple instances where documentation in the book, including patient names, drug names and amounts, and dates had been scribbled over or marked through making the entry illegible.
“[T]he survey team noted the keys to the narcotic medications remained in the same, unsecured drawer in the back hallway. At that time, patients and staff were in the area and could have potentially accessed the keys. The staff present on 12/17/14, included staff whose job responsibilities would not have included access to medications.”
In its December 8 and 9, 2014 inspection report of the Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, public health officials reported more lack of training on use of narcotics and a lack of proper documentation:
“A tour of the facility was conducted on 12/08/14 at approximately 1:30pm with Staff #1 (Administrator). Staff #1 reported all narcotics are stored in the double locked medication cabinet…. Staff #1 confirmed he/she is not licensed as a health professional. Staff #1 confirmed the narcotics are received by him/her from the vendor….A review was done of the Code of Virginia 54.1-3408 Professional use (of controlled substances) by Practitioners. There was no allowance for non-licensed persons to handle narcotic medications, even if under the supervision of a physician.
“A review of Staff #1 and Staff #2’s employee file were conducted on 12/08/14. Staff #1’s date of hire was 07/01/2000. Staff #1 has no professional license which would allow him/her to handle controlled substances. Staff #1 has no evidence of training in medications in his/her employee file. Staff #1 has a job description for administrator. Staff #2’s date of hire was 09/042004. Staff #2 has no professional license which would allow him/her to handle controlled substances. Staff #2 has evidence of attending nursing school and training in medications in his/her employee file. Staff #2 has job descriptions for alternate administrator and surgical laboratory technician.”
Then we have this little example:
In its July 9 and 10, 2014 inspection report from the Charlottesville Medical Center for Women, Department of Health officials watched as an unlicensed staff member did the following:
“… drawing up Fentanyl (a narcotic analgesic) and Versed (also termed Midozolam, a benzodiazepine) into a syringe. Staff #4 labeled the syringe with a marker and then brought the syringe to the bedside. Staff #5 (physician) started the patient’s intravenous line (IV) and then Staff#4 handed the syringe containing the Fentanyl and Versed to the physician, who then administered the medication. At no time were the contents of the syringe discussed between Staff #4 and Staff #5, nor was Staff #5 shown the vials from which the medications had been drawn.” When asked about the process, “Staff #4 stated that he/she regularly ‘drew up’ the Fentanyl and Versed for the administration by the physician…When asked how long Staff #4 had been drawing up medication for the doctor during procedures, Staff #4 stated that is has been for twenty (20) years. Staff #4 was asked if he/she was a licensed medical professional, and Staff #4 said, ‘no.’”
Unlicensed staff members were also transporting narcotics from one facility to another with no record or documentation. In fact, the facility had no records in accordance with federal and state laws regarding the drugs used at the facility. According to the inspection report:
“…the facility failed to keep records of all drugs in Schedules I-V received, sold, administered, dispensed or otherwise disposed of…”
The good news for the abortion industry? It is clearly being singled out by the state as being above the law. No need to worry about investigations or enforcement of drug laws. Nope. You see, forcing abortion centers to follow the law like any other “medical facility,” like they claim to be, would no doubt place an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to take the life of her unborn child. And we sure can’t have that! Keep women safe? Not a priority. Enforce the law? You’re kidding, right?
Allow anyone on staff to have access to drugs? No worries. We’ll just ignore all the laws and regulations that if violated any place else would result in serious legal repercussions. Of course, if you don’t keep records of the drugs you have, there’s no way to know if anyone has stolen anything anyway, right? Those poor idiots at the Richmond pharmacy who apparently kept records are really paying for it now! If only they did abortions in the back room. Then my guess is we’d have never heard anything about their little problem.
Besides, I’m sure we’ll hear how neither the Board of Pharmacy nor the Department of Health nor the Board of Health nor the Board of Medicine nor any other state entity has the “power” to close an abortion center. Somehow, in the day and age of an all-powerful central government that can do pretty much anything it wants, making sure abortion center’s follow the law is outside everyone’s authority.
So, don’t expect any newspaper headlines announcing the closing of any abortion centers. The abortion industry in Virginia, including its “doctors,” will continue to line their pockets with absolutely no concern with the law.
Being singled out has its privileges.