DETROIT (WJBK) - The pharmacy inside the Glory Super Market on Eight Mile near Groesbeck highway was closed Wednesday.
The state closed the drugstore and suspended lead pharmacist Muhammad Ashraf's license after finding the pharmacy was among the highest dispensers of the commonly abused drugs oxycodone and oxymorphone.
"This is a testament to how alarming the whole systemic aspect of the issue of the epidemic that opiates are," said Scott Masi, Brighton Center for Recovery.
The state found that patients paid cash for nearly 30 percent of prescriptions filled at the pharmacy, about three times the state average. The investigation said that fact suggested those prescriptions were filled for illegitimate purposes.
Another red flag was that the pharmacy often dispensed a dangerous combination of drugs.
"The judgment talked about the Holy Trinity," said Ghada Abdallah, Park Pharmacy. "And what that means is he's written for pain medication and anxiety medication and a muscle relaxer that all cause drowsiness and that combination is very dangerous and it's never appropriate."
And according to state records, Super Market filled those prescriptions without following up with the doctor that prescribed them, suggesting the prescriptions were fake.
"And when you close a place like this down what happens to the people who were getting their prescriptions filled," Masi said. "What's going to happen to them, more than likely they're going to go to the street eventually."
The opioid crisis has prompted the state to crack down on health professionals that overprescribe and over dispense the addictive drugs.
The Michigan State Police raid of the Dearborn Medical Clinic last August is just one example. And you can bet the temporary closure of this pharmacy won't be the last state action in the fight against opioid abuse.
"Unfortunately the financial incentives that are in place right now allow for this to continue to happen," Abdallah said. "Doctors will
continue to see patients and write for prescriptions. The incentive is there for them to see more and more patients because we live in a world that is a fee for service model in terms of that's the way we get paid and the same goes for pharmacies because the pharmacy gets paid based on prescriptions."
The pharmacy was inside the Glory Super Market but the two are not owned by the same person. The Super Market rented space to them and had nothing to do with the over dispensing of the drugs.
For safe disposal of opioids: http://www.dwmha.com/contact-us/map/
For help with addiction: http://www.familycenterweb.org/