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UPDATE: Santa Clarita City Council Candidate Faces Complaint Over Pharmacy

UPDATE: Santa Clarita City Council Candidate Faces Complaint Over Pharmacy

A complaint filed in November against Santa Clarita Valley pharmacist and Santa Clarita City Council candidate Moazzem Chowdhury of Desert Drugs cites three causes for discipline from 2010 actions, as part of an active investigation.

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The alleged causes for discipline stem from accusations from an inspector who noted Desert Drugs did not properly shred patient information before disposal, dispensed prescriptions for Schedule II narcotics without physician verification and had a lack of accurate records from a business-to-business narcotics purchase.

“We don’t have a hearing date on that,” said Joyia Emard, spokeswoman for the Board of Pharmacy. “But we do anticipate one.”

When asked about the delay in the filing because the accusations were dated 2010, Emard referred inquiries to the Attorney General’s Office. A representative did not immediately return calls seeking information.

“When we are requesting a license revocation, that’s a pretty serious offense,” Emard said, when asked about the nature of the allegations.

Desert Drugs is working with the Board of Pharmacy to address the allegations, Chowdhury said, but he did not want to comment further because it was a pending matter.

Chowdhury owns and operates four pharmacies, three in the Santa Clarita Valley, and one in Lancaster, which was the location listed in the complaint.Santa Clarita City Council candidate Moazzem Chowdhury

Chowdhury is one of 13 City Council candidates running for election April 8, seeking a place on the dais at City Hall.

Related article: Santa Clarita City Council Race ’14: Candidates Answer Forum Questions

The complaint also alleges a drug audit of Fentanyl conducted around the same time at Chowdhury’s Lancaster pharmacy noted 20 patches of Fentanyl 50 mcg and one Fentanyl 100mcg were missing. The drug is reportedly about 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

The Department of Consumer Affairs that oversees the Board of Pharmacy lists Chowdhury’s license as “clear,” noting the case filed Nov. 19, 2013, and it’s a pending matter.

The complainant in the matter is listed as Virginia Herold, the executive officer for the Board of Pharmacy.

A “clear” license entitles the individual or firm to perform all duties authorized to the specific type of license, unless (1) a pharmacist has renewed his or her license on inactive status, or (2) unless the license has been restricted by a disciplinary order of the board.

When the word “probation” appears under “clear,” board disciplinary restrictions are listed at the bottom of the screen.

Chowdhury’s license number does not reflect any other actions or allegations.

Related article: Santa Clarita City Council Race ’14: Candidates Report Contributions

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Source: Santa Clarita News

UPDATE: Santa Clarita City Council Candidate Faces Complaint Over Pharmacy

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at