Nurse Gets 37 Months Imprisonment for Medications Tampering and Theft

An ex-nurse working at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Buffalo, NY was sentenced to serve 37 months in jail for tinkering with and stealing controlled prescription drugs meant for patients with cancer.

30-year-old Kelsey A. Mulvey from Grand Island, NY was employed by Roswell Park as a registered nurse from February 2018 to June 2018. It was observed on June 27, 2018, that Mulvey was accessing medicine dispensing equipment in a room where she wasn’t assigned to work and left with a backpack. She had been put on administrative leave during the investigation and afterward resigned. According to the investigation, Mulvey had taken methadone, hydromorphone, lorazepam, and oxycodone from the automated medicine dispensing devices.

From June to July 2018, Roswell Park had six patients who fell sick with waterborne illnesses. The investigation determined that Mulvey had placed water in the vials to cover up her theft of the hydromorphone. Roswell Park has a policy of not tolerating such action and promptly informed the New York State Department of Health, the Bureau of Narcotics and Tobacco Enforcement, the NYS Department of Education, NYPORT, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency regarding tampering and drug theft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Mulvey of tampering with a consumer item, getting controlled substances through fraudulence, and criminal Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations. According to prosecutors, the drug thefts led to a failure to appropriately dispense medicines for 81 patients at
Roswell Park.

Mulvey is sentenced to up to 10 years jail term for the offenses. She made a plea agreement and confessed to one count of tampering with a consumer item. The criminal HIPAA violations plus other charges were dismissed because of the agreement. Mulvey additionally consented to give up her nursing license. Roswell Park stated that after discovering the theft, it set up new surveillance devices, reviewed and updated its guidelines and procedures, and provided more training and education to the workforce regarding drug diversion.

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