The FDA has issued a warning to consumers and healthcare providers to avoid using any liquid drug or dietary supplements due to a potential contamination. The drug and dietary supplement products, manufactured by PharmaTech LLC, may be contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia, otherwise known as B. cepacia. The warning includes liquid docusate sodium drugs or stool softeners, and dietary supplements including liquid vitamin D drops and liquid multivitamins for infants and children. In 2016, the FDA warned patients and healthcare providers to not use liquid docusate drug products manufactured at PharmaTech’s Davie, Fla., facility because the products were part of the CDC’s public health investigation into a multi-state outbreak of B. cepacia. Wochit
A Montgomery doctor pleaded guilty to federal charges after he unnecessarily prescribed several different drugs as part of a “pill mill” operation, according to a U.S. Attorneys Office news release.
Gilberto Sanchez, 56, of Cecil, Alabama, pleaded guilty Tuesday to drug distribution conspiracy, health care fraud and money laundering charges in federal court after law enforcement learned that he was prescribing controlled substances, such a methadone, hydrocodone and fentanyl, to patients that didn’t actually need the drugs, according to the news release. The operation was run out of Family Practice, a clinic in the 4000 block of Atlanta Highway.
“We depend on doctors to be part of the prescription drug abuse solution — not part of the problem. Dr. Sanchez’s greed-fueled pill mill put the lives of his patients and the integrity of federal health care programs at risk,” said special agent in charge Derrick L. Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
Sanchez would have patients come in for unnecessary monthly examinations before they could refill their prescriptions, charging those visits to both public — including Medicare and Medicaid — and private insurance companies. Sanchez bought at least one vehicle and personal residence with the money he made from the operation.
A sentencing date has yet to be set, but he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the drug conspiracy charge and 10 years each for health care fraud and money laundering charges, according to the release. There could also be substantial monetary penalties attached to the charges as well.
“The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in our communities,” said Bret Hamilton, Drug Enforcement Administration assistant special agent in charge. “All too often, this abuse leads to addiction, shattered lives, or even death. For the health and safety of our citizens, the Drug Enforcement Administration and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners will continue to target those who illegally distribute these dangerous drugs.”