Man accused of stealing drugs from University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Manuel Pacheco charged with stealing drugs worth $3,000

MIAMI - A pharmacy technician was charged Tuesday with stealing drugs worth up to $3,000 a dose from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Manuel Pacheco faces several charges, including one count of stolen property, one count of trafficking prescription drugs, one count of first-degree grand theft, and one count of second-degree grand theft.

Surveillance video showed Pacheco, 55, taking Neulasta, a cancer medication, said investigators. The drug is worth up to $3,000 a dose.

Dr. Leonard Kalman, a medical oncologist, uses Neulasta to treat some of his patients.

"We have strict inventory control. We have the drug locked away. Only certain people can get to it," said Dr. Kalman.

The arrest is part of an ongoing investigation into theft at the cancer center, where at least $14 million worth of cancer drugs have gone missing within the last three years, according to court documents.

Pacheco was selling the drugs on the black market, said investigators.

In a statement, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine said it was "seeking reimbursement from the employee." The hospital said it tightened up security at all of its pharmacies.

Property records showed Pacheco and his wife recently bought a home on a golf course.

Pacheco is expected in court on September 13.

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