Iowa pharmacy with history of violations fined for life-threatening medication error

A Sioux City pharmacy with a history of regulatory violations has been fined for a medication error that led to a life-threatening situation for a customer.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy alleges that on Oct. 4, 2023, Greenville Pharmacy in Sioux City incorrectly filled a prescription for a customer who then began taking the drug.

Three weeks later, the customer was treated in the emergency room of a hospital and was then admitted for what the board says was a “life-threatening condition resulting from this medication error.”

The board charged Greenville Pharmacy with dispensing an incorrect prescription, although the available public documents don’t indicate whether it was the wrong drug or wrong dosage. The records give no indication as to whether the customer recovered.

The case was resolved with a consent order requiring Greenville Pharmacy to pay a $1,500 fine, with its license placed on probation for three years.

In 2005, the board charged the pharmacy with a lack of professional competency due to a medication-dispensing error, failure to perform the required inventory of controlled substances, and failure to comply with the terms of the 2002 consent order.

The board alleged that on some unspecified date, the pharmacy had incorrectly dispensed Toprol-XL, a beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure, rather than Topamax, a drug used to treat epilepsy that had been prescribed for a 5-year-old child.

A routine inspection then revealed that no inventory of controlled substances had been completed over the previous three years. The board fined Greenville Pharmacy $500 and its license again was placed on probation for three years.

State records indicate that two pharmacists, Robert E. Rehal, 91, and Robert P. Rehal, 57, are officers of Greenville Pharmacy.

In 2002, Robert E. Rehal’s license was placed on probation for three years in connection with the allegations of medications being dispensed prematurely.

In 2005, Robert P. Rehal’s license was placed on probation for three years in connection with the Toprol-XL dispensing error.

In 2017, Robert P. Rehal, as the operator of Leeds Pharmacy in Sioux City, was charged with violating the duties of a pharmacist in charge. The board alleged Rehal’s quality-improvement reports that pertained to dispensing errors did not “adequately address the root causes of dispensing errors.”

Rehal was issued a warning, fined $500, and was required to complete 18 hours of educational training on medication errors and patient safety.

Find this story atIowa Capital Dispatch, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.

By Clark Kauffman, Iowa Capital Dispatch

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