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Utah cancer docs: Use of small 'practice' pharmacy in question

Published February 3, 2012 10:59 am

Prescriptions • Utah Cancer Specialists says probe is looking into drug dispensing.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Patients at Utah Cancer Specialists, which runs 11 cancer treatment centers around the state, can get drugs from their oncologists after intravenous chemotherapy, saving them a stop at a retail drug store.

The group was licensed six years ago to run a Class B pharmacy, also known as a practice pharmacy, to provide that convenience.

But the centers say the state Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is now investigating them, after a pharmacist filed a complaint alleging illegal physician dispensing.

The group says DOPL has suggested they apply for a Class A pharmacy license and operate as a retail business.

Utah Cancer Specialists says it can't run such pharmacies in all 11 of their locations. Nor do the physicians want to give pharmacists the responsibility of overseeing the treatment and side effects of extremely ill patients.

As one alternative, the group is pushing hard for SB161, which would allow oncologists to dispense certain drugs related to the treatment of cancer. Sponsored by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, the bill was introduced Thursday.

Commerce department spokeswoman Jennifer Bolton said Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing can neither confirm nor deny there is an active investigation into Utah Cancer Specialists.

She added that records show they hold current, active licenses as a Class B pharmacy with a current expiration date of Sept. 30, 2013. There is no record of any disciplinary action against them, Bolton said, nor have any citations been issued to them as of this past week.




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