Agency temporarily suspends Glendale pharmacist from working

The California Board of Pharmacy has temporarily suspended a pharmacist who owns two drugstores in Glendale from working as a pharmacist-in-charge.

Margarita Kazarian is accused of possessing counterfeit Cialis, which is taken for erectile dysfunction, and violating rules for the inventory of medications.

The Adams Square store, which Kazarian has owned since 1995, is closed, while her store on Kenneth Road as well as Park West Pharmacy in West Hills, which she also owns, remain open, according to Joyia Amard, public information officer with the state agency.

Amard said the agency doesn't usually issue an interim suspension before a formal complaint is filed with the state attorney general's office, but pharmacy officials took action immediately with Kazarian.

"We do in egregious cases, where public health and safety is at risk," she said.

A formal document must be filed with the Attorney General by July 1, and a hearing will be held within 30 days after the filing, Amard said.

A package of Cialis that Adams Square Pharmacy returned to its manufacturer, Lilly, was found to be counterfeit, but was returned in a genuine Lilly package or container, according to the agency's order for interim suspension.

When investigators later inspected the store, they found several medications that had expired, including nine 30-capsule containers of 100mg of Norvir, according to the order. Norvir is an HIV medication, Amard said.

Kazarian told investigators she had forgotten about the Norvir and that it was being held to be picked up for destruction, the order states.

Kazarian is also accused of misleading investigators.

On a pharmacy shelf, a bottle of Zyvoz was inspected and the investigator found that the tablets had differing shades of the color red and differing thickness of the imprints on them, according to the order. Zyvoz is an antibiotic for serious infections, Amard said.

When the variations were pointed out to her, Kazarian reportedly replied that she "did not pay attention to those details, poured out tablets from a bottle, showed the differences in the color of the tablets and said that the color variation in the tablets of Zyvoz were normal," the order states.

Calls to Kazarian Friday afternoon were not returned.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.


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