A Kentucky pharmacy owner has been accused of making custom pain pills for pill mills.
Karl O’Dell, PharmD, owner and pharmacist-in-charge of Boyd County Pharmacy and Pure Compounding in Ashland, KY, was accused of making oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to supply two pill mills—one in Virginia and one in West Virginia.
A criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston said O’Dell agreed to make oxycodone and hydrocodone pills for the clinics’ patients, as long as the physicians wrote prescriptions for amounts that were not typically available commercially, according to a Charleston Gazette-Mail article.
O’Dell allegedly ordered bulk quantities of hydrocodone and oxycodone in powder form, compounded the ingredients into pills at the pharmacy, and filled prescriptions for patients from the clinic.
O’Dell faces federal conspiracy charges as well as “misrepresenting medications“ and interstate commerce violations, since the hydrocodone and oxycodone powder shipped to Boyd County Pharmacy came from out of state.
O’Dell did not return a call from Drug Topics.
According to the complaint, O’Dell began meeting with the managers of a West Virginia pain clinic that had locations in Charleston and Beaver between late 2013 and early 2014. However, the clinic’s name was not provided in court records.
A criminal information is a formal criminal charge which begins a criminal proceeding in the courts.
While many other pharmacists have been charged or convicted for illegally distributing prescription opioids, this is the first case Drug Topics has reported on in which a compounding pharmacist actually formulated the illegal pills.
For example, earlier this year, a New Jersey pharmacist was convicted in federal court of distributing and illegally dispensing oxycodone from two pharmacies that he owned.
Michael Ludwikowski, 45, the owner of Olde Medford Pharmacy and Medford Family Pharmacy in Camden, was convicted of both illegal dispensing and maintaining a drug-involved premise, after a five-week trial in federal court.
This spring, pharmacists were also convicted as part of a massive compounding pharmacy fraud scheme that bilked private insurance companies, Medicare and TRACER out of around $100 million.