Friday, February 17, 2012

State board upholds pharmacist suspension

Ruling follows hearing before Idaho Board of Pharmacy

Express Staff Writer

The Idaho Board of Pharmacy has upheld the suspension of licenses held by the former chief pharmacist at Chateau Drug in Ketchum.

The order, issued Feb. 6 and pertaining to pharmacist Andrew D. Welch, followed a hearing before the Pharmacy Board on Jan. 26. The ruling affirmed an earlier "emergency suspension" against Welch issued on Jan. 11 by Pharmacy Board Executive Director Mark Johnston.

The emergency suspension was a temporary measure put in place before the full board could consider the matter.

The first order against Welch alleged that 30 different illegally held prescription medicines were found at Welch's home in Ketchum when search warrants were executed at the home and at the Chateau Drug pharmacy on the evening of Jan. 5.

Welch has not been charged with any crimes. An investigation, headed by the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team and involving several state agencies, is still under way into possible insurance fraud and illegal possession of drugs.

Both the earlier and later orders address Welch's pharmacist license and a separate license that allowed him to handle controlled substances.

Both orders state that the licenses were suspended because the situation "represented an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare requiring immediate agency action."

Terry Smith:

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