Whistleblower fired for exposing violations at VA medical center now banned from hospital

The McGuire VA Hospital in Virginia wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medication. (Photo Credit: Andrew Carmichael)

A pharmacist who was fired from a VA medical facility earlier this year for exposing four major patient safety problems, has now been barred from entering the premises.

Dr. Andrew Carmichael received a letter last week from the chief of police, stating he cannot enter the McGuire VA Medical Center without first checking in with the police. Carmichael has not yet been charged with any crime.

Carmichael was publicly escorted out of McGuire by three police officers Feb. 3, despite receiving a performance review of “excellent” two months earlier, according to the Daily Caller.

After he reported problems to hospital leadership, then later to federal agencies, Carmichael claims management retaliated by fabricating conduct issues to drive him out. Senator Tim Kaine, who asked for the hospital to reinstate Carmichael earlier this year said, “It is alarming that Mr. Carmichael states that he was never provided any warnings or performance counseling regarding his conduct issues prior to his termination.”

The most serious issue Carmichael raised was about poor IV management. He says old, contaminated units were left in the room, a pharmacy tech in charge of the equipment was incapable of making sterile products, and couldn’t train anyone else in “appropriate sterilization techniques.”

He also claims the facility staff mishandled controlled substances, alleging there’s “no oversight to prevent diverted or stolen drugs.”

Another one of Carmichael’s allegations was that the hospital wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars because no one restocked unused medication returned from nursing units.

Before being fired, Carmichael “amassed documents, emails, pictures, and recordings,” eventually reporting the problems to DEA, OIG, Virginia Board of Pharmacy, and the FDA.

Photos show drugs placed in garbage bags and stashed “haphazardly in boxes or shelves.” When an audit was expected, hospital employees allegedly burned bags of drugs before investigators arrived. Carmichael also accused the Chief of Pharmacy of placing methadone in a waste receptacle without DEA permission.

Carmichael says he also repeatedly emailed and talked with supervisors about dangerous workloads. He says he and a co-worker checked “a thousand orders in four to seven hours.” Two hundred is typically deemed safe, he said. He told NBC 12, “You start adding a hundred orders on top of phone calls and try to check other things, it’s a recipe for disaster. It causes errors, because you’re trying to splice yourself into multiple people.”

The FDA surprised McGuire in early March with an unannounced inspection. According to the NBC affiliate, the agency uncovered three observations: “The absence of written procedures to prevent drug products contamination; a deficient process of disinfecting the IV room, including a repeatedly used wet mop; and no records of investigations when discrepancies do occur.”

Friday Carmichael is scheduled to appear at a deposition with a VA lawyer to continue his appeal through the Merit Systems Protection Board process. Carmichael told the Daily Caller “Anything to slander and defame me so that I will give up and go away. The problem is and continues to be that sometimes people stand up for what is right.”


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

Post navigation