Maine Medical Center in Portland must pay $126,000 to the government as part of a settlement for violating record-keeping regulations for controlled drugs, U.S. Attorney Jay McCloskey said June 17.
The Portland hospital has denied any violations.
But in 1996 an audit by state and federal investigators found several record-keeping discrepancies involving controlled drugs, McCloskey said. Federal and state law requires hospitals to keep records of all controlled drug doses acquired, stored, dispensed or destroyed. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 allows penalties of up to $25,000 for each record-keeping violation.
After the discrepancies were found, Maine Medical Center changed its record-keeping system and instituted internal audits. The hospital says there have been no major discrepancies discovered since then.
"Strict enforcement of the record-keeping requirements of federal drug laws is essential to ensuring that drugs are not diverted from their intended medical uses," McCloskey said.