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NURSE FACES SANCTIONS IN DIVERSION OF DRUGS

A University of Utah Medical Center nurse faces sanctions against her license for allegedly diverting drugs from the hospital for her own use and in several cases substituting patients' prescription drugs with Tylenol, a petition said.

The petition filed with the state Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing said Barbara Mackenzie Heath had been signing out Percocet, an addictive pain killer, for patients to whom it had been prescribed but who had already been discharged and had not requested the drug."On approximately 10 occasions (Heath) gave plain Tylenol or Tylenol and Motrin combinations to women who had requested Percocet and (Heath) kept the Percocet for her own use," the petition said.

The petition said Heath started taking one to three pills a week away from work, but within two years the frequency of drug diversions increased and Heath began using Percocet at work.

Earlier this year Heath voluntarily entered a program for drug dependency, the petition said.

Heath has been charged by the division with two counts of violating the state's Nurse Practice Act and Controlled Substance Act, the petition said. A Notice of Agency Action said Heath has 30 days to respond to charges, after which a hearing will be held or she may negotiate a settlement with the division.