Just as the United States is being faced with an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, this report out of Minnesota is equally as troubling. A nurse at the Minneapolis VAMC faces five felony counts of theft after it was discovered he had stolen prescription drugs on more than 70 occasions to allegedly help him with his own mental health issues.
How is this happening? How did the VAMC’s automated medication management system let 70 instances of the misappropriation of drugs happen? The Pyxis Machine is protected by a User ID, fingerprints and approval from a second employee. The drugs noted in the criminal complaint include Fentanyl, Hydromorphone, Morphine, Midazolam and Oxycodone. All of which are schedule II or schedule IV controlled substances. Each time, the nurse, 42-year-old Matthew Leininger, reportedly entered the Pyxis Machine and took the drugs for himself under the pretense that they were being used for a patient. The nurse wrote in the criminal report that there was a lack of accountability on the unit, and took that failure as an opportunity to take the drugs.
You can read the full report here.