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Druggist manually adjusted tablet inventory, board told

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 16. 2012 9:27PM

CONCORD - Dartmouth College Director of Pharmacy Chris Henderson testified Wednesday that pharmacist Jeffrey A. Licht was responsible for 60 of 61 manual adjustments of inventory for narcotic tablets containing hydrocodone over a 23-month period.

The New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy has temporarily suspended Licht's state pharmacy license after an investigation found Licht was being prescribed excessive amounts of hydrocodone.

Licht, 62, of Hanover, worked at Dick's House Pharmacy, which is part of Dartmouth's Student Health Services, and is on administrative leave.

Under questioning by Jason Reimers, assistant attorney general in the administrative prosecution unit, Henderson outlined manual adjustments made to the computerized inventory system at Dick's House. Of 61 adjustments, Henderson said, he was responsible for just one, on Aug. 26, 2010, and Licht was responsible for the other 60.

Licht tried to cast doubt on the argument that he was solely responsible.

In cross-examining Henderson, Licht noted that that pharmacy technicians could make manual adjustments during days when he was logged in as the pharmacist on duty but the record would show his initials for the transaction and that nurses had unsupervised access to the pharmacy overnight.

Licht appeared without legal counsel. He said 90 percent of the time a pharmacist was signed on it would have been his initials associated with the log in.

'Would it be correct to say that although my initials are on these adjustments, of which you have obviously for the correct reasons, have taken hydrocodone since that was the particular drug in question that just having my initials on those adjustments was not a guarantee that I was the one that actually did the adjustment?'

Henderson answered, 'I would agree.'

Reimers asked Henderson whether pharmacy technicians could have made all of the adjustments attributed to Licht.

'Not all of them,' Henderson said.

'Was Mr. Licht on vacation while any of these adjustments were made?' Reimers asked Henderson. 'No,' Henderson replied. 'The one day that I made the one adjustment on 8/26, he was not working that day.'

Henderson said he reviewed the pharmacy's manual adjustments for seven other commonly prescribed drugs. Out of 5,736 events, 47 were manual adjustments. For all events for the hydrocodone there were 244.

'Yes, compared to the 5,736,' Henderson said.

Reimers asked, 'Out of 244, there were 72 adjustments?'

'That's correct,' Henderson answered.

'Did that surprise you?' Reimers asked.

'In an extraordinary way it confirmed what I believed was the case,' Henderson said. 'Which was ... wow that's a lot of adjustments.

'I ran these reports and in spades it showed me that there was a lot of adjustments to hydrocodone,' he said.

For the seven comparison drugs, Henderson said, Licht's initials were associated with about half of the manual changes.

'Twenty-three had my initials and 24 had Jeff's initials on it,' he said.

Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson said in an email response, 'Dartmouth has been informed by the State of New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy that the license of Jeffrey Licht, a deputy pharmacist at Dick's House, has been suspended pending the results of an ongoing investigation. We are cooperating fully with the investigation and look forward to its conclusion. Any behavior that threatens the safety of the Dartmouth community is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.'

The pharmacy board's complaint said Licht was prescribed 9,761 tablets of hydrocodone/acetaminophen between August 2010 and March 2012 from a physician who was summarily suspended by a medical board from another state for inappropriately prescribing drugs.

'From March 2011 to March 2012, Mr. Licht received an average of 20 tablets of hydrocodone/acetaminophen per day,' the order said.

The board said it expects to decide within 60 days whether it will keep the suspension in place while it conducts the larger disciplinary review.

The board said it expects to decide within 60 days whether it will keep the suspension in place while it conducts the larger disciplinary review.

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