Pharmacist forfeits $2 million to settle illegal distribution charges

March 13, 2015

A Mississippi pharmacist has agreed to forfeit $2 million he earned through an online scheme that distributed painkillers to customers who had not received medical consultations.

A Mississippi pharmacist has agreed to forfeit $2 million he earned through an online scheme that distributed painkillers to customers who had not received medical consultations.

According to an article in the Clarion Ledger, the forfeiture was part of a plea deal negotiated between the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans and the software company eCareMD.

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Company officials recently plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute Fioricet. Prosecutors said the scheme operated for a decade and distributed drugs in the New Orleans area. In addition to the forfeiture, the company also agreed to give up its software.

The company’s manager was pharmacist John A. McKinney, of Moss Point, Mississippi. McKinney’s attorney said his client “made an ill-advised venture into Internet sales with others of Fioricet” after years of running a retail pharmacy.

 

"He later withdrew from the operation," Simmons told the newspaper. “And there will be no individual criminal charges against him."

Court documents revealed that an unnamed businessman and an unnamed pharmacist in 2005 recruited McKinney to “sign up as an affiliate pharmacy to fill and ship online prescription drug orders on behalf of certain Internet pharmacies.”

Through the online pharmacy, customers selected drugs and filled out information about their symptoms. An affiliate doctor would then sign electronic prescriptions before the script was sent to the affiliate pharmacist and then shipped to customers.

"No in-person medical consultations or examinations would be performed before or after the putative prescription was generated," court documents said.

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