State Board Of Pharmacy to Resume Undercover Inspections
The state Board of Pharmacy this month will resume conducting undercover investigations of pharmacies after inspections were stopped last year to allow investigators to focus on "resolving complaints," the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. The board now hopes to handle the inspections as well as "tackle" the backlog of complaints against pharmacies, which numbered 1,500 after one audit last year. The board hopes that each pharmacy will have an undercover inspection "at least" once every three years. However, most other states inspect pharmacies every one or two years. Frank Palumbo, director of the University of Maryland's Center on Drugs and Public Policy, said that "three years seems to be stretching a bit. Within that period, you could have totally different personnel in a pharmacy and it obviously reduces the probability of seeing problems." The AP/Bee reports that many of the problems at pharmacies are caused by a shortage of pharmacists. In order to "survive the managed care shakedown," pharmacies began handling more prescriptions, but often dropped "patient consultations" because of the volume of prescriptions (Cooper, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.