Investigations, suspensions over hospital’s missing fentanyl

KEENE, N.H. (AP) — More than seven gallons (31.8 liters) of fentanyl solution have been reported missing over several months at a New Hampshire medical center, prompting an investigation by state officials and the license suspensions of several staffers.

The New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy will consider whether to suspend or revoke Cheshire Medical Center’s pharmacy permit on June 29.

The state has suspended the licenses of several staffers at the Keene hospital, including the chief nursing officer. It said some of the fentanyl was allegedly stolen by a nurse who admitted to taking bags of the drug from October through January. She signed an agreement not to practice in February.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat patients with chronic severe pain or severe pain following surgery.

“Cheshire Medical Center continues to work closely with government agencies on the ongoing investigation of this matter, even as we revise and refine our policies and protocols regarding the secure handling of pharmaceuticals,” the medical center said in a statement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration also said it is conducting an investigation.