The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ pharmacy will pay more than $95,000 to settle alleged violations of federal drug laws.
These issues were discovered in a yearlong investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, the inquiry was prompted by reports that roughly 2,500 oxycodone pills had gone missing from the Tribal Health Department’s St. Ignatius pharmacy. Tribal Health serves about 12,500 patients and operates two pharmacies, one in St. Ignatius and one in Polson.
“During the investigation, the DEA discovered significant violations of the regulations, including failing to adequately track records of the controlled substances in the pharmacy and failing to report the missing oxycodone pills to the DEA,” a press release stated.
In addition to the fine, the pharmacy will have to evaluate its compliance annually for three years and certify to the DEA that it’s meeting all regulations. Future violations could make it subject to the maximum penalty of $240,640.
"Once we learned the extent of the problem, Tribal Health administrators worked hard to address the system's deficiencies," tribal spokesperson Rob McDonald said in a statement. "Our dedication to fixing this problem led to a decrease in the initial fines.
"CSKT's Tribal Health Department is dedicated to serving our community's needs and will continue to develop our systems to better protect our people."