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1,000-plus pills go missing. Tri-City pharmacist accused of unprofessional conduct

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Some people might think prescription opioids are safer than alcohol or illegal drugs, but the truth is they carry serious risks and side effects. Talk with your doctor about your concerns and make informed decisions about pain management together.

A Tri-Cities pharmacist has been accused of unprofessional conduct after more than 1,000 painkillers were discovered as missing from his pharmacy.

Mustafa G. Elziny was manager of Reliance Pharmacy in 2016 when the missing pills were discovered during a drug audit.

He also allegedly tested positive for benzodiazepine and opioids, even though he didn’t have a prescription for those medications, the state Department of Health alleged.

The health department issued its allegations Sept. 13 and announced them Tuesday.

Elziny Reliance Pharmacy
Pharmacist Mustafa G. Elziny with Reliance Pharmacy has been accused of unprofessional conduct after more than 1,000 tablets of painkillers were discovered missing when he was a pharmacy manager in 2016. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Elziny has responded and asked for a settlement, said Sharon Moysiuk, a state health department spokeswoman.

Elziny declined to comment when reached Tuesday at work by the Herald. His pharmacist credential remains active.

The audit by a Drug Enforcement Agency agent and state Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission investigator happened in September 2016, after a burglary a few months earlier in which 2,653 tablets of hydrocodone were lost, according to state health department documents.

Elziny didn’t submit a DEA loss form after the burglary, documents said.

“During the audit, it was discovered that the pharmacy was missing approximately two hundred twenty (220) tablets of OxyContin 15 mg from the inventory,” documents said.

Elziny allegedly forged a DEA transfer form to account for those missing opioid tablets, claims the state.

The audit also uncovered 968 missing tablets of hydrocodone 5/325 mg, documents said.

Elziny’s drug test came a few days before the audit, documents said.

Officials investigated for more than a year before the state was ready to move ahead with formal allegations, Moysiuk said.

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529

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