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Police: Nurse faxed bad prescription from Ashland hospital for months

An Asante Ashland Community Hospital nurse is facing misdemeanor controlled substance charges accusing her of using her work’s fax machine to fill an expired prescription to give to a friend.

Sarah Roseann Bybee, 37, of Medford, made her first appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court on Friday on three misdemeanor counts of possessing a Schedule IV controlled substance on allegations she used the Ashland hospital’s fax machine to fill an expired prescription for Phentermine — a medication typically prescribed for weight loss — numerous times between July and October of this year.

Asante spokeswoman Lauren Van Sickle confirmed that Bybee is employed at the hospital as a licensed practical nurse, but couldn’t comment further on the personnel matter.

“She is an employee of Asante,” Van Sickle said. “We are aware of the situation, and we are assisting the Ashland police department with the investigation.”

At least three hospital staff members had contacted police ahead of Bybee’s arrest midday Thursday, according to court documents filed by Ashland police in the case.

Staff members provided police documentation that between July 3 and Oct. 29, Bybee “faxed the same expired, no-refill prescription for Phentermine seven times to different pharmacies uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance,” court documents say, along with information about her work schedule and confirmed pharmacy faxes.

Bybee allegedly made admissions to police about sending the faxes, and told police she “thought it would not be a big deal if she filled the prescriptions and gave a friend the medication,” court documents say.

She also allegedly told police that she did not know that Phentermine was a controlled substance.

Jackson County Jail records show that Bybee was arrested midday Thursday and spent the night in jail on seven felony counts of tampering with drug records, which the Jackson County District Attorney’s office is now prosecuting as the three misdemeanor charges.

On Friday afternoon, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge David Orr ordered Bybee be released with conditions of not to consume alcohol, cannabis or intoxicants, and not to handle physical or electronic prescriptions.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Correction: an earlier version of this article wrongly identified what type of nurse Sarah Bybee is.

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