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Abington Memorial pays $510K in drug diversion settlement

Abington Hospital — Jefferson Health agreed to pay $510,000 to settle allegations that failures in its internal controls allowed an employed pharmacist to steal more than 35,000 pills, including the highly addictive oxycodone and other painkillers, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Monday.

The thefts occurred between Feb. 2010 and August 2013, when Abington, then known as Abington Memorial Hospital, discovered the theft and reported it to the Drug Enforcement Agency. The pharmacist, Renata Dul, pleaded guilty in 2015 and 25 counts of possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone and was sentenced to six years of prison.

Abington's internal investigation found that all patients received their prescribed medicines and that Dul acted alone in exploiting a gap in the pharmacy's inventory control software, Abington said.

Abington also said in a statement that it has spent $1.96 million on systems to protect its pharmacy inventory since the thefts were discovered.