In recent Baltimore, Maryland Pharmacy Error news, a local pharmacist in Reisterstown was reportedly sentenced to six years in federal prison for illegally selling 34,000 prescription drug painkillers to a drug dealer.
Maryland’s U.S. Attorney’s office announced this month that Ketankumar Arvind Patel, a former pharmacist for the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy, was working with a drug dealer to sell drugs containing the opioid oxycodone, like OxyContin and Percocet. Patel reportedly showed the drug dealer how to write fake prescriptions with a blank prescription pad to avoid detection from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), other authorities, and insurance companies.
The drug dealer went on to fill out multiple fake prescriptions in different patient names for both prescription painkillers, and Patel filled them in his pharmacy from July 2007 to March 2009. The Department of Justice claims that Patel sold around 620 prescriptions for the dealer, at around $8-$12 per 80mg pill of the drug OxyContin, and around $2-$10 per 10mg pill of the drug Percocet.
According to U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosensten, prescription medication abuse is one of the leading law enforcement challenges, with drugs that are meant to be used under the supervision of a doctor, sold to substance abusers who become addicted to the drugs, which has become increasingly prevalent among young adults and teenagers, and can lead to personal injury or even wrongful death.
Patel was caught after the drug dealer came forward in March 2009, and became an informant for the DEA, showing them how the scheme operated, and how to record and catch the pharmacy fraud. The drug dealer reportedly tape-recorded purchases of the painkillers made with falsified prescriptions and funds from the DEA. In a separate undercover operation, an agent from the Department of Health and Human Services also reportedly posed as a drug dealer, to buy Xanax from Patel, using fake prescriptions, and had him fill it at his pharmacy in May and June of 2009.
Patel was reportedly paid $400,000 for filling the drugs, all of which he was ordered to forfeit in his sentence, along with $50,000 found and confiscated by DEA agents during Patel’s arrest. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Patel to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute the tens of thousands of pills to the drug dealer.
Baltimore Area Pharmacist Sentenced For Illegally Selling Pills, WBAL.com, April 10, 2010
Pharmacist Gets Six Years for Selling to Drug Dealer, The Baltimore Sun, April 10, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Pharmacist Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Illegal Oxycodone Distribution, U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, April 9, 2010