FL: Florida pharmacist pleads guilty to illegally distributing oxycodone

CBS News –

A pharmacist and her pharmacy technician have both pleaded guilty in an illegal oxycodone distribution scheme.

TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida pharmacist has pleaded guilty to unlawfully distributing oxycodone outside of his professional practice.

Hong Truong, 54, was a licensed pharmacist who owned and worked at HP Pharmacy in Pinellas Park, according to the plea agreement. Her practice was previously registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration for properly prescribing and dispensing controlled substance prescriptions.

At Truong’s pharmacy, she was charging a higher-than-market-per-pill price — around $5-6 per pill — and only accepted cash payments.

Truong and her pharmacy technician, Jessica Evans, falsely noted that prescriptions had been verified with the prescriber’s office, when they hadn’t been.

Evans has also pleaded guilty for her role in the scheme.

Truong faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. She has agreed to pay a fine of $766,819, which is estimated to be how much she made from her illegal sales.

The patients with opiate prescriptions that visited Truong’s pharmacy were young, healthy-looking, and had traveled far distances to her small pharmacy, usually after visiting a prescribing physician in Tampa.

Truong is also accused of filling prescriptions for “opiate naïve” patients — people who had never taken them before — without talking to their physician and obtaining a reason as to why they needed the drug.

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