Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Year : 2, Issue : 5
A Pentagon watchdog found a slew of problems with the White House Medical Unit that took place during the Trump administration, including that the unit provided controlled substances to ineligible White House staff.
A new report from the Department of Defense inspector general found the military-run White House Medical Unit provided a wide range of health care and pharmaceutical services to ineligible staff, in violation of federal law and policy, with senior leaders in the unit directing practices out of line with Pentagon guidance. The report also found White House military medical unit providers said they weren’t empowered to deny requests from senior unit leaders.
The report found controlled substances, including opioids and sleeping medications, were “not properly accounted for,” in violation of federal regulation. The White House Medical Unit used handwritten notes to track inventory for controlled substances, which accounted for frequent errors, the report said. The report found the unit dispensed Ambien without verifying patients’ identities and purchased brand-name Ambien, which costs 174 times more than the generic brand. The report said the medical unit also purchased brand-name Provigil, another sleep aid that costs far more than its generic counterpart. The White House Medical Unit also improperly disposed of both controlled and non-controlled substances, the watchdog found.
The report said these problems happened because “White House medical officials did not consider their operations to be a pharmacy.”
“Without oversight from qualified pharmacy staff, the White House medical unit’s pharmaceutical management practices might have been subject to prescribing errors,” the report said. “Additionally, the White House medical unit’s practices demonstrated inadequate medication management and increased risk to the health and safety of patients treated within the unit.”
Source: CBS News