Police in Maryland have arrested a Reisterstown pharmacist. They are accusing Ketankumar Arvind Patel of illegally selling over 23,000 prescription pills. Authorities say that this amount is equal to almost 28,000 pounds of marijuana or 63 kilograms of cocaine. Federal charges have been filed against the 47-year-old.
In the six-count indictment against him, Patel, an Eldersburg resident, is accused of using his Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy to fill bogus prescriptions for Oxycontin, Xanax, and Percocet. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Baltimore office noted that these painkillers account for more overdose fatalities a year than cocaine and heroin together.
The regional agency is committed to fighting prescription drug abuse. Officials say they will treat pharmacists like “any other drug dealer.” If convicted on all counts, The Baltimore Sun reports that Patel could be ordered to serve a maximum 86 years in prison. He may also face over $26 million in fines.
The DEA says that close to 7 million Americans are hooked on prescription medications. Many abusers are “soccer moms” and white collar workers that don’t consider the drug as harmful as street drugs.
As we’ve witnessed with a couple of high profile celebrity deaths over the last two years, however, prescription drug addictions can prove fatal—as it did with actor Heath Ledger and possibly (pending investigation results) with pop star Michael Jackson.
Pharmacists can be held liable for Maryland pharmacy malpractice if someone gets hurt or dies because the wrong medication was administered, the wrong prescription drug instructions accompanied the correct medication, a prescription was illegally filled, or the wrong dose was issued. To determine if you have grounds for filing a Maryland personal injury or wrongful death case, you should contact our Maryland pharmacy injury lawyers to discuss your case.
Pharmacist accused of illegally selling pills, The Baltimore Sun, July 1, 2009
Druggist faces federal charges, Carroll County Times, July 1, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Many lawsuits against pharmacies settled in silence, USA Today, February 17, 2008
Pharmacists and medical malpractice, Wrong Diagnosis