NJ dot com reports that Pharmacist Peter Riccio of Warren, NJ has lost his pharmacy license, after the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy suspended him for “at least 5 years”. Riccio is the reported former owner of Dunellen’s Towne Pharmacy.
The pharmacist ran an Internet business, fulfilling prescriptions for prescription medicines (including addictive pain killers such as those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone). The DEA and FDA investigated and indicted him after they learned he was aware that many of the prescriptions were invalid. Prescriptions written without a legitimate medical consult are not valid in New Jersey or under Federal laws.
Many people don’t realize that pharmacists are licensed by the state and can be held responsible for the prescriptions they fill, even when those prescriptions were written by licensed medical doctors. It seems likely that Riccio was targeted because he exploited the regulatory system while selling over the Internet. Such schemes have potential to divert large amounts of drugs quickly.
We don’t have the inside story of Mr. Riccio’s version of how things went down, such as whether or not he was trying to be sympathetic to pain sufferers shut off by increased regulation of opioids and opiates in New Jersey. As a licensed pharmacist in the State of New Jersey, he has to play by the rules or risk losing his license, as happened here.
- NJ.com story in early February
- 10% of America’s Heroin Addicts live in New Jersey