South Lyon pharmacist fined for selling tainted meds

Apr 11, 2014

A South Lyon pharmacy has been shut down and the lead pharmacist fined for selling contaminated goods to a Detroit hospital.

A South Lyon pharmacist has lost his license and his business after selling medicine contaminated with fungus to Henry Ford Hospital.
A South Lyon pharmacist has lost his license and his business after selling medicine contaminated with fungus to Henry Ford Hospital.
Credit Megha Satyanarayana

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the fines Friday in a statement. He said that pharmacist Kenny Walkup lost both his business license and his pharmacist license Thursday after the AG’s office received a complaint in October that his business, Specialty Medicine Compounding Pharmacy, sold sugar solution tainted with fungus to Henry Ford Hospital. While there have been no reports of injury related to the tainted solutions, the pharmacy’s license has been permanently revoked, said AG spokeswoman Joy Yearout.

Walkup will have to pay $100,000 in fines, and will have to reapply for his license to practice pharmacy in three years as if he was a first-time applicant, said Yearout. He may face additional charges.

“He’ll have to go through a process where he will have to go directly to the board of pharmacy and ask to be given a license again and prove why he should be given one,” Yearout said. “We are still investigating the incident to determine whether any civil or criminal action will be taken.”

Henry Ford Hospital employees discovered the contamination when they noticed vials of dextrose shipped from Specialty Medicine had something floating in them. Walkup, who was approved to sell drugs to individual prescription holders, had applied for a permit to manufacture and sell pharmaceuticals to large institutions at the time of the incident. Yearout said the permit application had not been approved.

Other reports indicate that Walkup’s lawyer argued that as long as it is less than 5% of the pharmacy’s business, Walkup was permitted by law to sell large compounding orders.

Everything at the pharmacy, including manufacturing equipment and supplies, has been seized, said Yearout. The AG’s office is investigating whether other medical facilities and veterinary offices have received supplies from Specialty Medicine.

Megha Satyanarayana, Michigan Radio Newsroom