DOJ Seeks to Block Two Tennessee Pharmacies From Dispensing Opioids

February 15, 2019

In a first-of-its-kind action, the Department of Justice filed suit against two Tennessee pharmacies to prevent them from dispensing opioids.

The complaint, filed in the Middle District of Tennessee, names Oakley Pharmacy and Xpress Pharmacy, of Celina, Tennessee, along with pharmacy owner Thomas Weir, and pharmacists John Polston, Michael Griffith, and Larry Larkin. The DOJ claims the defendants violated the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act in their dispensing of prescriptions. At least two individuals have died and several others have been hospitalized due to unlawful dispensing of opioids by the defendants, according to the complaint.

The defendants allegedly filled prescriptions for controlled substances outside of the course of professional practice and did not properly ensure that they were written for legitimate medical purposes. They routinely overlooked warning signs of diversion and abuse, including unusually high doses of opioids such as oxycodone, potentially dangerous combinations of drugs and patients traveling long distances to fill prescriptions, the DOJ says.

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