GALLIPOLIS — State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy officials have closed and suspended the pharmacy license of Spring Valley Family Pharmacy at 448 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, after officials reportedly found unclean drug compounding areas, inaccurate mixing of medications, poor record keeping and a pharmacist reportedly under the influence of illegal substances, per documents released Wednesday.
A notice found on the door of the pharmacy, Wednesday, said the state board has placed “under seal” all prescription medications “owned by or in the possession, custody or control of Spring Valley Family Pharmacy…”
According to a letter signed by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven Schierholt and addressed to Spring Valley Family Pharmacy and Brandon O’Callaghan, pharmacy owner, “During a return visit to the pharmacy for a follow-up inspection on or about June 17, 2019, (the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy) staff observed RPh O’Callaghan, the Responsible Person, owner and primary operator of Spring Valley, to be impaired, displaying slurred speech, incoherent thought processes, and extreme fatigue with drooping eyelids. RPh O’Callaghan admitted to illicit drug usage including cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as taking a relative’s prescription Adderall Rx and alcohol. On June 18, 2019, the Board summarily suspended RPh O’Callaghan’s pharmacist license, which resulted in Spring Valley having no Responsible Person. On June 19, 2019, RPh O’Callaghan admitted to agents of the Board that he is addicted to methamphetamine.”
The letter further states that several violations of law may have occurred including potential violations of “…Adequate safeguards…assured to prevent the sale or other distribution of dangerous drugs (prescription medications) in a manner that allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns employed by the terminal distributed to practice pharmacy in a safe and effective manner…,” “a terminal distributor (pharmacy) shall not have a responsible person who is addicted to or abusing alcohol or drugs…,” and violations of records where “…each (pharmacy) shall maintain an inventory of all controlled substances…”
The letter states that “Furthermore, the Board finds that based upon the facts set forth in the Allegations section, there is clear and convincing evidence the methods used by Spring Valley Family Pharmacy for distributing dangerous drugs presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to others and as such, summarily suspends Spring Valley Family Pharmacy’s license as a Terminal Distributor of Dangerous Drugs.”
Among items observed in the pharmacy were reportedly a chicken incubator, guinea hen eggs, expired medications, unclean compounding areas and discrepancies in recorded inventory.
“A pharmacy technician admitted to RPh O’Callaghan having knowledge of a fraudulent dextroamphetamine/ amphetamine prescription, which the technician produced and RPh O’Callaghan dispensed,” said the letter.
Should O’Callaghan request, a hearing can be held with the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy in Columbus within 30 days by mailing date of the previously mentioned letter, which was dated for June 19, 2019, to present his position in the ongoing incident as well as present evidence or witnesses.
According to Gallia Sheriff’s Office Chief of Deputies Troy Johnson, the office responded to Spring Valley Family Pharmacy at the request of an agent from the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Upon arriving, the officer made contact with an unidentified person and believed that the person in question was under the influence. The deputy took possession of a firearm that was at the location and opened an investigation to determine the facts of the case. The Gallia Sheriff’s Office is waiting on a report from the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to determine their findings and will consult with Prosecutor Jason Holdren’s Office on the results of both investigations.
At the time of press, the Gallia Sheriff’s Office has taken no one into custody.
The Gallipolis Daily Tribune did attempt to contact Spring Valley Family Pharmacy but was unsuccessful as of press time.
Spring Valley Family Pharmacy patients are encouraged to contact their prescribers for guidance, said the notice on the pharmacy door.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.