Pharmacy Owner Charged in Federal Court for Repackaging Returned Drugs

Earlier this week in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the owner of a pharmacy was sentenced to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine for his involvement in a drug repackaging scheme. According to one local Michigan news source, the man who was sentenced was not actually involved in the repackaging scheme, but under the law he was held responsible as the former owner and current registered pharmacist on location.

Evidently, the man who was just sentenced sold the pharmacy to another man, Mulder, back in 2008. Although Mulder was the new owner of the pharmacy chain, the defendant in the case stayed on as a registered pharmacist at one of the branches. Since the defendant self-financed the deal, Mulder was to pay the defendant a monthly payment, similar to a mortgage.

As time went on, Mulder had a difficult time paying the defendant back. The monthly payments were lowered, but he still couldn’t afford to pay them. Mulder then got the idea to repackage medication that was sent back from nursing homes and foster homes, although federal regulations required that these drugs be destroyed.

The prosecuting attorney on the case explained that the defendant was both a victim and a co-defendant to Mulder. The attorney explained that “by hitching his pharmacy practice to the wagon driven by Mulder, [the defendant] allowed his pharmacy in … to veer in an unlawful and dangerous course.” Essentially, since the defendant’s name was on the wall behind the pharmacy counter, he was ultimately responsible to ensure the safety of the practice.

Pharmacy Errors and Culpable Defendants

While the case described above was a criminal one, it helps illustrate an important point in civil pharmacy error cases as well. In many cases, plaintiffs have a difficult decision when it comes to naming defendants in a lawsuit. On one hand, a plaintiff doesn’t want to waste unnecessary expense naming frivolous parties, but on the other hand the failure to name a proper party may prevent recovery in some cases. Thus, figuring out exactly who to name in a lawsuit is crucial.

Thankfully, no one was injured in the repackaging scheme mentioned above. However, this kind of reckless conduct is exactly the kind that can easily result in a serious or fatal pharmacy error. If you have been injured in a pharmacy error, contact an attorney to discuss your case.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Pharmacy Error Case?

If you or a loved one has recently been seriously injured because of the negligence of a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. It is important to keep in mind that these lawsuits can be very complex and often rely on expert testimony and scientific data. Therefore, it is advised to consult with a dedicated attorney experienced in pharmacy error cases prior to proceeding. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Five Dangerous Drug Combinations That Can Cause More Harm Than Good, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 1, 2015.

Medical Journal Recommends Physicians and Pharmacists Convert Completely to the Metric System to Avoid Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 4, 2015.

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