More than a million Rx forms missing from hospitals

Following a July New York state report that 1.4 million blank prescription forms went missing, another 14,000 prescription forms were stolen at an unnamed downstate hospital in New York, reported Newsday yesterday.

The New York State Department of Health has launched a full investigation into the reported theft, it said in a statement yesterday.

Although the health department did not say which downstate hospital the 14,000 forms were taken from or when the theft occurred, the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has identified nationwide organized gang activity in trafficking illicit and legal drugs.

The blank Rx forms can go for as much as $300 each, Newsday noted.

The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has alerted pharmacists about the potential for counterfeit prescriptions, visited the facility to review procedures, met with the Medicaid Inspector General's office, and posted the serial numbers of the diverted prescriptions to allow pharmacists to identify the stolen forms.

"Crimes involving the illegal use and distribution of prescription drugs are a public health threat, and we will use all the resources at our disposal to combat the illegal diversion of prescriptions," Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah said in the statement.

For more information:
- read the Newsday article
- read the New York Times article
- here's the health department's statement

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