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Palomar Health, a California public health care district located in San Diego County, has paid $250,000 to resolve allegations of diversion of fentanyl from one of its facilities and failure to keep accurate records for fentanyl.

Palomar Health is California’s largest health care district, with campuses in Escondido and Poway. This settlement arises from a self-disclosure Palomar Health made to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that one of its employees may have diverted controlled substances.

The government investigated Palomar Health and concluded that vials of fentanyl were diverted from Pyxis machines – automated medication dispensing machines often used in hospital settings – located at Palomar Health’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab in Escondido. Specifically, the government concluded that over a five – month period, numerous vials of fentanyl were diverted from the Pyxis machines and unused fentanyl was not properly disposed of.

In addition to paying $250,000 to resolve the government’s claims, Palomar Health entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the DEA requiring Palomar Health to undertake additional measures to increase security, implement specialized training, and to handle controlled substances properly and safely.

“We value our relationships with our registrant population and encourage all of them to be diligent in preventing and catching diversion,” said Diversion Program Manager Rostant Farfan. “Keeping medications, like fentanyl, off of the street is the responsibility of all who work with controlled substances.”

This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

To report a tip directly to a DEA representative regarding medical personnel writing suspicious opioid prescriptions and pharmacies dispensing large amounts of opioids, call (571) 324-6499 or visit the DEA’s website ( and click on “Rx Abuse Online Reporting.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dylan M. Aste.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.