GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Before you pop a pill, we have a stat for you to listen to: We viewed pharmacy inspection logs and found that 149 pharmacies in our area -- out of 401 --- have not been inspected since at least 2008. That's almost 40 percent of the pharmacies not inspected for half a decade.
State auditor Beth Wood found similar results across North Carolina. She stresses the need for more inspections.
"There was a pharmacy that went 10 months without having a pharmacist on board. They're were prescriptions that had the wrong labels on them. There were prescriptions written to the wrong person," Wood said.
The state board of Pharmacy is in charge of inspections. It's inspectors primarily focus on places with complaints. No state law requires them to check every pharmacy regularly.
"You wouldn't want to wait for a pharmacy to have some bad things happening before you perform an inspection at all," Wood said.
The head of the NC Board of Pharmacy says the agency's looking at possible solutions - like adding extra staff. It hopes to add two more inspectors. While that doesn't sound like a lot, he says it can cut down on travel time so inspectors can do more work and less driving.
And they've already made some changes. Believe it or not, the board didn't have a database. It was manually compiling the list of pharmacies to inspections done. The board now has a computer program in place. It hopes it will help them identify stores that haven't been inspected in several years.