POULSBO — Pharmacist Nicholas Wyatt failed to ensure that a patient received safe and appropriate medication therapy while serving as director of pharmacology at the now-defunct Liberty Bay Internal Medicine, the state Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission ruled Feb. 27.
The commission, an arm of the state Department of Health, formally reprimanded Wyatt, placed his license on probation for up to four years, and ordered him to complete a typewritten essay of at least 1,000 words “addressing the pharmacist’s duty” under the Washington Administrative Code “to ensure the safety of the patient’s behalf in either a clinical or institutional setting.”
The former patient commented, “I feel that the panel did its job and listened to the facts in the case, and concluded correctly that Nicholas Wyatt was guilty of negligence.”
Calls made March 3 to Wyatt’s office were not returned by press time; he now works at Harrison Medical Center.
His home number listed in earlier directories is no longer in service.
According to commission records, Wyatt — while director of pharmacology at Liberty Bay Internal Medicine — gave the patient, being seen for severe insomnia, a prescription for Ambien, even though Wyatt was not registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency to do so.
Wyatt gave the patient 10 times the recommended daily dose of Ambien “without expert consultation,” putting the patient at risk of “negative side effects including exhibiting aggressive behaviors and experiencing memory loss.”
Liberty Bay’s medical director, Narinder Duggal, was sued by three former patients in Superior Court for alleged malpractice and sexual assault and lost his license; at least eight former patients had filed complaints with the state, which were investigated by the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance and an assistant attorney general. Duggal is trying to get his license restored and told the Herald in a previous interview he intends to “fight every one of these cases” and called his accusers “liars.”
One lawsuit was dismissed on June 19, 2015 after a former patient, who had just fired her lawyer and was representing herself at the pre-trial hearing, stated “in open court that she will not be presenting evidence at the time the case is scheduled to be read … and is not prepared to go forward,” according to Superior Court Judge William Houser’s notes. The former patient had alleged the care and treatment she received for drug dependency was negligent.
In another lawsuit, alleging malpractice [RW1] and sexual assault, attorneys for the plaintiff and Duggal asked that the case be dismissed. In a statement of evidence presented to the court the day before, the plaintiff presented a list of 20 witnesses and a list of 29 exhibits she planned to introduce at trial. The case was dismissed on Oct. 14; trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 20.
The third lawsuit against Duggal, filed by the former patient whose negligent treatment garnered Wyatt the reprimand and license probation, is scheduled to go to on April 26 in Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen’s courtroom.