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East Memphis pharmacy faces reprimand from health department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An East Memphis pharmacy is in trouble with the Tennessee Department of Health and accused of keeping unsanitary conditions and potentially endangering customers.

The Department of Health is focusing on the East Memphis franchise location of The Medicine Shoppe, located on Estate Drive just off Poplar Avenue in a quiet area that matches the quaint spelling of the business’s name.

But according to the state, the issues on the inside of the business were pretty obvious.

Dating back to 2016, an inspector noted “the dispensing area was not clean." A consent order from the state noted, "The inspector found dust on shelves near the sterile compounding area.” The inspector also found expired drugs and signature logs that weren’t updated.

The state also reported similar issues when an inspector returned in 2017, prompting the state to suspend the pharmacy’s ability to dispense certain types of prescription drugs in 2019, though it's unclear why it took two years for the state to enact the reprimand.

WREG went to the Medicine Shoppe to talk with them about what the action meant for customers and why it happened. We met with the owner, pharmacist Kevin Evetts, whose license to practice is also affected.

“There was a reprimand," Evetts said.

Evetts didn’t want to do an on-camera interview, but he did explain this only affects “sterile compounding," which is a technique used to make one specific drug to treat erectile dysfunction.

He said he had about two dozen customers for it and had been making it for nearly 20 years. But as a result of the state order, he stopped sterile compounding in April, saying it was “too much to keep up with the regulations.”

He’ll have a chance to reverse the suspension if he shows he’s complying with the state order, but he indicated he may not even try.

The owner said he planned to bring in an outside source to review his practices by the end of the year.

The Medicine Shoppe is a chain with several franchise locations in the Mid-South. This issue only applies to the location on Estate Drive in East Memphis.

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