A new Defense Department Inspector General report shows that a little-known in-house White House pharmacy erroneously distributed prescription medications to its staff, wasting $750,000 of taxpayer money.
A former pharmacy employee told investigators that the doctor asked the staffer if he could “hook up ” someone with a controlled drug “as a gift to leave the White House.”
Stat News reported that the report revealed the pharmacy dispensing controlled medications such as Ambien and Provigil to patients without verifying their identity.
Stat reported that a sign in a White House office read “Pharmacy,” yet the people responsible insisted that it was not one.
The Office of the Inspector General, an independent office of the Department of Defense, conducted the investigation that was published this month. This is because the White House Pharmacy is managed by the White House Military Office and its associated medical units.
Internal complaints received by the DOD in 2018 regarding a senior medical officer who was not identified, and his “improper practices” were what sparked this investigation. The investigation only covers the period from early 2020 to the end of the Trump administration. However, investigators also interviewed former Obama staffers.
The report claims that the “pharmacy”, as it is called, allowed people to grab open bins of over-the-counter medicines.
The investigation also revealed that an affiliate office of the Office of Personnel Management had inappropriately paid for the care of a large number of employees who were not eligible. This wasted more than $750,000 of taxpayer money in only three years. Stat states that this number is “fuzzy”, as many records are poorly maintained and some were even written by hand.
Douglas Hoey CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association told the outlet that if this pharmacy had been traditional, it would have received a citation from the state board of pharmacies. “There’s a good chance they would be shut down by the state board if it was a traditional pharmacy outside the White House cocoon.” Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association told the outlet.