Doctor to pay state $32,000 for missing vaccine

November 15, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Howard County family practitioner has agreed to pay the state $32,000 for nearly 2,500 unaccounted-for doses of vaccine that were supposed to be administered to patients who could not afford them, authorities said yesterday.

Dr. Nadu Tuakli of Clarksville, who has offices in Columbia and Laurel, had received more than 5,500 vaccine doses between July 1997 and October 2000 to be administered through the Vaccines for Children program, which provides inoculations through Medicaid, according to a news release from the Maryland attorney general's office. But when auditors tried to account for the vaccine after receiving a complaint, there was no documentation for 2,491 of the doses, authorities said.

Tuakli and her lawyer, Richard D. Bennett, said in a news release yesterday that the matter amounted to an "accounting dispute" and that the doses were "discarded through spoilage."

No criminal charges were filed in the case, which was investigated by the attorney general's Medicaid fraud unit.

Tuakli is no longer part of the Vaccines for Children program and has denied "intentional wrongdoing," according to the attorney general's office.

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