OK.....do YOU know where your meds are coming from? http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local...stributed-meds

The affidavit that led to Tuesday's raids on the corporate headquarters of Kentwood Pharmacy and five of its facilities alleges unused medication from as many as 800 nursing homes was repackaged and sold as new with made-up expiration dates.

The DEA suspended Kentwood Pharmacy's license to distribute narcotics, DEA agents said Wednesday.

Documents obtained by Target 8 investigators say the pharmacy would pick up old, unused medication from the nursing homes and long-term care facilities -- all customers of Kentwood Pharmacy -- and return them to their packaging plant on 44th Street, often in brown paper bags. Sometimes, the medications came from patients who had died.

At the packaging center, 2840 44th St. SE, workers allegedly removed the pills from so-called "blister packs" and repackaged them in plain, amber-colored bottles.

Former and current pharmacy technicians reported finding the wrong dosages in some bottles; that workers responsible for repackaging often ate and drank at their work sites, then didn't wash their hands or wear gloves; and even repackaged drugs that had fallen on the floor.

One nursing home reportedly found a piece of popcorn in a package of narcotics it got from Kentwood Pharmacy.

Some of the five witnesses cooperating with federal agents say they found pills discolored, some coated with powder from other drugs and bottles that contained the wrong drugs.

Not only were those repackaged pills sent to the nursing homes, but they also were sent to the pharmacy's retail stores, the feds alleged.

Federal investigators say they not only interviewed former and present employees, but they also conducted late-night surveillance of the office, once even following a driver they believed was owner Kim Mulder's son.

The document also alleges the repackaged narcotics were stored in Mulder's office. Witnesses say at least one Kentwood pharmacist complained to Mulder and that Mulder, after an expensive pill fell on the floor, told a packer to keep it anyway.

"Such conduct poses a risk to the public health, because it could result in the dispensing of expired and ineffective drugs to patients," authorities stated in the search warrant affidavit.

Federal officials say it also would be impossible for Kentwood Pharmacy to know if any of the repackaged pills were the subject of recalls.

The feds also alleged packers were sometimes told to send multiple pills to a patient when one was enough, allowing Kentwood Pharmacy to bill for three 1 mg pills instead of a single 3 mg pill.

Mulder, 51, has twice been convicted of fraud in the 1980s. Target 8 tried contacting him at his home on Wednesday, but got no answer.

The company's CFO, Kelly Boeve, told Target 8 investigators, "I just don't have any comment right now."

Additionally, the Michigan State Police are investigating Richard Clarke, the Vice President of Sales for Kentwood Pharmacy, for allegedly supplying prescription drugs to people in the Cadillac area without a prescriptions. Those drugs include oxycodone and fentanyl.

In a trash pull at a home in Cadillac, investigators said they found empty pill containers and marijuana stems, plus evidence that some of the medication came from Kentwood Pharmacy. They also found a business card containing Clarke's work e-mail address.

The suspension of Kentwood Pharmacy's license to distribute could leave those facilities in West and mid-Michigan scrambling to get medication for their patients, the DEA said.

"Customers are going to have to find another pharmacy to provide them with their controlled substances," DEA special agent Rich Isaacson said.

The DEA issued the suspension Tuesday as federal agents raided Kentwood Pharmacy's headquarters and distribution center on 44th Street SE along with four pharmacies, including two in Grand Rapids. Agents seized records and narcotics.

"We're alleging they were handling their business in a way that is inconsistent with the public interest and potentially is a danger to the public safety," Isaacson said.

The suspension of the Kentwood Pharmacy license to distribute involves Schedule 2 through 5 controlled substances, including such pain medications as hydrocodone and oxycodone, Isaacson said. The ban does not cover other drugs, such as antibiotics.

"You lose your control," Isaacson said. "You can't guarantee the quality of the product once it's redistributed. You can't be sure of expiration dates."

Isaacson said he is aware of similar cases, though, "this would be considered a pretty large example of what we've seen in Michigan.

"The main issue is the Controlled Substance Act. It's a closed system. Once controlled substances go to a patient, the customers, that's the end user. Pharmacies are not supposed to take any back. That's illegal. Kentwood Pharmacy should know they're not allowed to take controlled substances back."

Kentwood Pharmacy has 30 days to appeal the suspension ruling through an administrative judge. Isaacson said that likely would happen at the DEA headquarters in Arlington, Va.