Phony pharmacist allegedly filled more than 745,000 prescriptions at 3 California Walgreens

Phony pharmacist allegedly filled more than 745,000 prescriptions at 3 California Walgreens
A woman served as a pharmacist without the proper qualifications for more than a decade. (Source: Raycom Image Bank)

(Gray News) - A woman without the proper qualifications allegedly was allowed to handle hundreds of thousands of prescriptions at three California Walgreens, a state investigation claimed.

The California State Board of Pharmacy said Kim Thien Le performed the duties of a pharmacist at three Walgreens pharmacies, dispensing medications for more than a decade.

Le, who served as a pharmacist from 2006 to 2017, reviewed patient use of drugs, gave vaccinations, ordered medications, counseled patients on prescriptions and supervised pharmacy technicians, all with the pharmacist license numbers of people with similar names, the Associated Press reported.

Of the 745,355 prescriptions she handled, about 100,000 were for controlled substances, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The pharmacy board discovered something was amiss during a routine visit to the Fremont pharmacy, where they discovered some prescriptions for controlled substances were completed without following state guidelines, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The licence Le had, as a pharmacy technician, lapsed in 2008, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Significantly less schooling is required to be a pharmacist technician than it takes to be a pharmacist.

The three pharmacies that employed Le face punishment by the state, including possibly losing their pharmacy licenses. The investigators faulted the pharmacies for poor record-keeping, as they lacked records for her licenses and her job application, the Mercury News said.

Le is no longer working for Walgreens, a company spokesperson said, and they have since reverified the qualifications of all the pharmacists they employ, the San Jose Mercury News said.

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