The Pennsylvania Department of State recently released the names of licensed professionals who have been reprimanded for violating state law and professional board regulations. There were 218 professionals who were disciplined, including a Hazleton pharmacist found guilty of pharmacy malpractice.
According to the release, George Michael Waschko, owner and pharmacy manager of Waschko’s Pharmacy in Hazleton, filled a high blood pressure medication from April 2003 to March 2008 for a patient and alleged family friend; however, the patient’s doctor hadn’t seen the patient since 2003 and did not prescribe 26 of the 31 refills. The doctor contacted Waschko and advised him not to fill the prescription for that patient anymore.
After the Department of State was notified of the possible improper dispensing, it began an investigation. Waschko said that the customer changed doctors, but that a computer error at the pharmacy kept the old doctor’s information on the label. However, the investigation found that Waschko did not have a prescription to fill the drug from January through November 2005.
Waschko continued to blame his employees for the pharmacy error throughout his investigation and testimony. The investigation also found “multiple examples of incompetency, gross negligence or other malpractice, or departure from and failure to conform to the standards of acceptable and prevailing pharmacy practice.”
After the state Board of Pharmacy found him guilty of gross negligence and other malpractice, Waschko was charged with a $5,000 civil penalty, received three years of probation, and had his license suspended for three years. The board decided that if Waschko continued to practice pharmacy without monitoring, “an unreasonable risk to the citizens of the Commonwealth” would occur.