OKC Pharmacy Accused Of Selling Too Many Controlled Drugs - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Pharmacy Where Ersland Shot Robber Accused Of Selling Too Many Prescription Drugs

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Court documents show Reliable is No. 1 in the state for selling the top three most abused prescription drugs, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and alprazolam. Court documents show Reliable is No. 1 in the state for selling the top three most abused prescription drugs, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and alprazolam.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A pharmacy comes under fire for selling too many prescription drugs.

With Oklahoma ranked No. 1 in the nation for prescription drug abuse, prosecutors are concerned Reliable Pharmacy is becoming a hot spot for addicts.

Prosecutors say Reliable Pharmacy dispenses more pain pills than four larger neighboring pharmacies combined. Reliable Pharmacy first landed in the spotlight in 2009 when former pharmacist Jerome Ersland shot and killed a would-be robber.

7/8/2011 Related Story: Jerome Ersland Sentenced To Life In Prison By OKC Judge

Now the small pharmacy is accused of selling a large amount of prescription drugs. Court documents show Reliable is No. 1 in the state for selling the top three most abused prescription drugs, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and alprazolam.

"The other controlled drugs are comparable to the nearby pharmacies," said Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater."But not the top three most abused."

Prater said he learned of the potential problem in a lawsuit between Reliable Pharmacy and its distributor, Cardinal Health.

"We didn't know," Prater explained."The D.E.A and the O.B.N didn't know until Cardinal filed a compliance letter saying an inordinate amount of drugs are going out the door."

Although Cardinal Health profits from Reliable's business, the distributor refused to ship the drugs to Reliable until an Oklahoma County Judge made a ruling to force Cardinal Health to continue sending the drugs for the next 45 days.

Court documents show Cardinal Health became suspicious of the pharmacy after an audit in 2010. At that time, the distributor noted it witnessed a drug deal taking place in the parking lot of the business.

Click here to view the court documents from this case

In February, Cardinal Health informed the Drug Enforcement Agency, or D.E.A., the distributor stopped all shipments.

Prater says now prosecutors and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics are asking for a judge to allow both to intervene in the case.

"We need to look and make sure nothing is going on here," said OBN Director Darrell Weaver. "We don't want any more lives lost in Oklahoma due to prescription issues."

Critics told News 9 they feel prosecutors are targeting Reliable Pharmacy because of the Ersland and his murder conviction. Prater says Ersland has nothing to do with the need to protect Oklahoma from having more pain pills on the streets.

"Whether Mr. Ersland is involved in this or not, I don't know, but the number of drugs dispensed have stayed the same since he went to prison," Prater said.

Prater explains his office is only asking to get involved because "the two parties involved in the lawsuit cannot step in to pursue the interest of the state so we are doing it."

An attorney for Reliable Pharmacy provided the following statement:

"Reliable Discount Pharmacy was provided a copy of the State's 'Motion to Intervene As Of Right,' by the media and only this morning. As such, we have not had an opportunity to fully digest the contents of the pleading; however, Reliable intends to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations and affirmatively seek all available relief and redress through the appropriate venues. Reliable has complied with all applicable state and federal requirements and looks forward to continuing to serve the Oklahoma City community as they have since 1990."

                                                                                                    - Foshee & Yaffe Attorneys at Law

The District Attorney's office filed a motion to intervene. A hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2012.

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