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New owners take charge of pharmacy after forced sale

Pacific Pharmacy Group, managed by Tom Pasco and Scott Tyree, purchased and is now operating Fallbrook Pharmacy after former owner Tip Clements, a pharmacist of 48 years, had to sell the business after having his pharmacist license and two pharmacy permits revoked in April.

Clements’ permits for the Fallbrook Pharmacy operation were revoked following an investigation into unprofessional conduct, excessive furnishing of controlled substances and violation of both state and federal controlled substance laws.

The final report issued on the case (3029) by the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Pharmacy, stated that Clements did not contest the 11 charges levied and agreed to be bound by the board’s discipline. The report disclosed that Fallbrook Pharmacy was found to be more than three-quarters of a million tablets (combined) short of the drugs Vicodin, Vicodin ES and Norco compared to the inventory they reported. The investigation into Clements’ practices focused on a time frame from July 2004 to May 2005 and was related to Clements dispensing some 54,000 prescriptions through a system involving the Internet. Undercover agents posed as customers on March 31 and April 29, 2005, and successfully purchased Vicodin tablets with no face-to-face, telephone or electronic mail contact with a physician. The contrived prescriptions were filled by Fallbrook Pharmacy.

The cost of the investigation and enforcement pertaining to this case was disclosed as $38,256.75. The Board of Pharmacy agreed to defer the recovery of those funds until a point in the future that any member of the Clements family applies to the board for any type of license or permit and it is granted.

Clements may not apply for reinstatement of his license until three years from the effective date of the decision, which in this case would be April 9, 2011.

The decision by the Board of Pharmacy stipulated that the admissions made by Clements are not admissible in any criminal or civil proceeding.

Tom Pascoe, president of Pacific Pharmacy Group, said he and his associates are pleased to have had the opportunity to buy Fallbrook Pharmacy and are committed to preserving the long-term, successful business and providing top-notch service to the community.

In addition to Fallbrook Pharmacy, Pacific Pharmacy Group owns six other successful independent pharmacies.

“We love Fallbrook Pharmacy; it’s the type that belongs in the Pacific Pharmacy Group family,” Pascoe said. “We are going to ‘out service’ the others in town with the level of customer service we offer and the added wide variety of products.”

Renovation of the interior in the pharmacy has been coupled with an exciting expansion, Pascoe said, referring to the addition of a medical equipment and repair arm to the business.

“We remodeled the store across the breezeway from the pharmacy and that is where we now sell medical equipment and supplies,” Pascoe said. “We have a showroom that features wheelchairs, hospital beds, scooters, lift chairs, walkers, crutches, canes, a big variety of braces, bath accessories and a full line of diabetic supplies, including a custom-fitted shoe line.”

More improvements to the operation include a more efficient, higher technology telephone system to streamline incoming new prescriptions and refills and an expanded line of nutritional supplements.

The pharmacist now in charge at the pharmacy is Henny Ng (pronounced “Ing”). Ng, with 30 years’ experience, is assisted by three additional licensed pharmacists in serving clients.

Looking to the future, Pascoe said he sees continued quality service to the Fallbrook community.

“We wanted to preserve the legacy and continue the tradition,” Pascoe said. “This tight-knit community appreciates and values its independent pharmacy. The extra service that we provide is appreciated.”

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