Alleged Improper Opioid Sales
Yesterday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment accusing Ohio- based Miami-Luken, former President Anthony Rattini, and former compliance officer James Barclay of conspiring to distribute controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose. Also indicted were two pharmacist, Devonna Miller-West and Samuel “Randy” Ballengee, who each owned a pharmacy in West Virginia.
The Indictment alleges Miami-Luken, Rattini, and Barclay filled suspicious orders for oxycodone and hydrocodone placed by the pharmacist and “other unnamed physicians, pharmacists, and pharmacies.” That Miami-Luken, Rattini, and Barclay failed to maintain effective controls against diversion and failed to exercise due care in confirming the legitimacy of all orders by continuing to supply oxycodone and hydrocodone. Perhaps more egregious are allegations that Miami-Luken, Rattini, and Barclay continued to distribute oxycodone to physicians that were under investigation by the DEA.
This is the second case that the DOJ has brought against a drug distributor alleging improper opioid sales. In April, the government charged Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc, and two of its executives.
According to the Washington Post:
[I]n 2017 that DEA investigators wanted criminal charges filed against executives of the largest drug distributor in the United States, McKesson Corp., after they built a case against the firm alleging violations in nine parts of the country. But they were rebuffed by federal prosecutors and the Justice Department, which settled with the company and fined it $150 million.
The Post also noted that previously undisclosed DEA data shows that drug distributors saturated the country with 76 billion opioid doses between 2006 and 2012, far more than was previously known.
The story can be found here.
Unfortunately, Miami-Luken and Rochester could not buy their way out of criminal prosecution. It will be interesting to see if the government can tie Rattini and Barclay directly to the misconduct.