ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A former Roanoke pharmacist plead guilty Monday to one count of tampering with a consumer product. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
Bryan Wade Lewis, a former pharmacist at Home Choice Partners in Roanoke, plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Raonoke to tampering with hydromorphone in January 2018.
Lewis, 34, worked at Home Choice in Roanoke when an employee discovered a needle, alcohol pad, and a bloody tissue in a toilet of an employee restroom and reported it to another employee. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said Lewis told a co-worker the items may have fallen out of his picket. The co-worker then reported the incident to a human resources rep, who scheduled drug testing for all employees.
Lewis was scheduled off on the day of the test, but was instructed to report to work. Instead, Lewis allegedly owned up to using hydromorphone for the previous nine months, replacing a 50 mL vial of the substance in the back of the narcotics cabinet with a vial of saline.
“Medical workers violate the public’s trust when they divert powerful narcotics for illicit use,” acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “We will continue to partner with the FDA, DEA, and others, to bring to justice anyone who violates that trust and brings potential harm to patients.”
“The FDA oversees the U.S. drug supply to ensure that the medicines are safe and effective; those who knowingly tamper with medicines put patients’ health at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to protect the public health and bring to justice health care professionals who take advantage of their unique position and compromise their patients’ health and comfort by tampering with needed drugs.”
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