August 1, 2014  Last Update: April 21, 2014, 9:13 pm

Pharmacies Caught Reselling Used Drugs

Pharmacies busted for re-selling used pharmaceuticals

Two pharmacies in Washington State are accused of collecting unused prescription medications from nursing homes, and reselling them as new to other customers.

What do nursing homes do with unused prescription drugs after a resident passes away? According to a former manager turned informant, at least two pharmacies in Western Washington collect the unused drugs from the nursing homes, repackage them and resell them!

News reports recently released say the Federal Food & Drug Administration is investigating the Scrips LTC Pharmacy in Seattle and the Custom Prescription Shoppe in Bellingham, Washington. Both are owned by the same company.

According to a report to the FDA by a former manager described in the Seattle Post, pharmacy delivery people would go around to client nursing homes and medical boarding houses and collect the left over prescriptions of residents who had passed away. The drugs would be taken back to the pharmacies where they would be repackaged and resold as new drugs.

If true, this is highly illegal and the pharmacies will face heavy consequences if they are found guilty.

Scrips employees told KING 5 News they had no comment. However, in federal documents, an investigator asked an employee if he knew he shouldn’t reuse drugs and the employee responded "that’s how it’s done here."

Authorities claim the pharmacy owners were looking to profit twice from the scheme. Once for the first sale, and again on a resale to other patients. When the pills are paid by Medicare, this would be Medicare fraud. According to the informant cited in the news coverage, the pharmacy was charging government insurers full price for drugs acquired for free as samples, too.

King 5 reports one story that is pretty damning for the pharmacy:

"an employee said after a federal investigator ordered the reused drugs be disposed, they were boxed up and quarantined. He took pictures but said when he returned the next day a manager had removed them. That manager then allegedly took the drugs home with her to sort them and then brought them back to the pharmacy to be re-packaged."

Given these descriptions of the process of collecting, sorting and reselling, the pharmacy would not know the expiration dates, batch numbers, or other important tracking information for the medications.

 

 

Comments

  1. Debra Rincon Lopez says:

    Who even knows how long that this has been going on? Probably for many many years. WHo’s to say that Pharmacies don’t order more drugs & keep some of them to make more money. There is so many crime opportunties with drugs & pills.

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