Saginaw Pharmacist Summarily Suspended for Over Dispensing Controlled Substances

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

November 9, 2017 - The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) served an administrative complaint and order summarily suspending pharmacist Sureshkumar Dakshinamoorthy’s license to dispense controlled substances. The Michigan Public Health Code provides for summary suspension in response to an imminent danger to the public health or safety.

LARA also served an administrative complaint on Universal Pharmacy, owned and operated by Mr. Dakshinamoorthy, alleging a failure to maintain effective protocols against diversion of controlled substances and also violating the Public Health Code by dispensing controlled substances without good faith.

The complaints allege that in 2015 and 2016, Universal dispensed more codeine/promethazine syrup than any other Michigan pharmacy and had unexplained losses of the drug from the pharmacy’s inventory. While used for the short-term relief of upper respiratory illnesses, codeine/promethazine syrup is also a frequently abused and diverted medication known by the street names “sizzurp,” “purple drank,” and “lean.” 

The complaints also allege that Universal dispensed dangerous combinations of controlled substances such as alprazolam, carisoprodol, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, to individuals who visited multiple providers across Michigan.

Governor Rick Snyder’s Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force called for a more comprehensive enforcement program against licensed health professionals and facilities who participate in overprescribing and over dispensing.  Accordingly, LARA created a permanent Drug Monitoring Section which focuses on identifying, investigating, and pursuing appropriate disciplinary actions against individuals who overprescribe or divert controlled substances, and individuals and facilities who over dispense controlled substances.

An order of summary suspension is a temporary measure to protect the public and not a final determination that a licensee has violated the Public Health Code.

For more information of LARA’s regulation of health professions in Michigan, please go to www.michigan.gov/healthlicense.
For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara
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