By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Another pharmacist was led away in handcuffs during a September 25, 2012, raid on an Orlando-area pharmacy, according to a number of sources. The pharmacist is accused of filling prescriptions for oxycodone, even though he allegedly knew the prescriptions were not legitimate.
Click here to see video of the arrest from WFTV in Orlando.
The Raid and Arrest Were Part of an Ongoing Investigation.
In December 2011, narcotics agents searched the same pharmacy and found 22 prescriptions that were suspected to be fraudulent, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Agents believed the prescriptions were fakes because they apparently matched phony prescriptions found at other local pharmacies. The prescriptions had the same patient names, and the telephone number listed on the prescription belonged to a suspected drug abuser, not a physician.
One customer who received pills from the pharmacist told the Orlando Sentinel that because she was using fake prescriptions, the pharmacist would mark up the price of the pills.
Phony Prescription Rings Operate in Central Florida.
We have previously published several blogs about groups of criminals who have operated phony prescription rings in Central Florida. In a number of cases they have obtained professional counterfeit-proof paper and had prescription forms printed that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
Click here to see blog one. Click here to see smurf blog.
Given that there are mandatory minimum prison sentences for such activities, young people (those who are usually involved) should avoid these people like the plague. It is just not worth the risk for a few hundred dollars or a few pills. You screw up your life forever, and you spend years in prison.
Pharmacist’s Legal Issues.
The pharmacist in this casewas arrested on 22 counts of trafficking in oxycodone, 22 counts of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, and one count of trafficking in hydrocodone. On top of those charges, the Department of Health (DOH) ordered an emergency suspension order on the pharmacist’s license.
To read the article from the Orlando Sentinel, click here.
To see our blog on possible remedies for an emergency suspension order, click here.
Surge in Pharmacy Raids and Shutdowns in Florida.
If you’ve been watching the news at all lately, you can tell there have been an increased number of raids on pharmacies, arrests of pharmacists and emergency suspension orders issued from the Department of Health (DOH).
Just in the past month the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) served a Walgreens distribution center in Florida with an immediate suspension order (click here to read more on this story), and pulled the controlled substance licenses from two Central Florida CVS Pharmacies (to learn more, click here).
In my personal opinion, if the large retail giants can’t survive, the small independent pharmacies stand little chance.
Do you agree? What do you think of the war on prescription drugs in Florida? Leave your comments on this story below.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Pharmacies and Pharmacists.
The Health Law Firm represents pharmacists and pharmacies in DEA investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, administrative hearings, inspections and audits. The firm's attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Pavuk, Amy. “Agents Raid Orlando-Area Pharmacy, Arrest Pharmacist.” Orlando Sentinel. (September 25, 2012). From: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-pharmacist-arrested-orlando-20120925,0,6879000.story
WFTV. “Pharmacist Arrested on Charges of Trafficking Oxycodone.” WFTV.com. (September 25, 2012). From: http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/pharmacist-arrested-charges-trafficking-oxycodone/nSLgg/
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
Tag Words: pill mill, pill mill laws, pharmacist, doctor, physician, nurse, controlled substances, pharmacies, pharmacist license, overprescribing, pain clinics, pain management, Florida prescription drug crackdown, Florida prescription drug abuse, prescription drug trafficking, Department of Health (DOH), DOH investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), DEA investigation, emergency suspension order
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