IA: Pharmacist Admits Prescription Drug Theft and Tampering

Healthcare Diversion – Patient Harm

A pharmacist who stole controlled substances from two Dubuque area pharmacies and tampered with medications pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Anthony Pape, age 33, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of two counts of theft of controlled substances from two different pharmacies and two counts of tampering with a consumer product, specifically controlled substances.

In a plea agreement, Pape admitted that he worked as a pharmacist in two different pharmacies in Dubuque when he stole controlled substances from the pharmacies.  An inventory of the pharmacies found hundreds of doses of controlled substances were stolen over the course of his employment.  Subsequent investigation also found that, during March of 2020, Pape tampered with capsules of controlled substances by removing all or most of the controlled substance from the capsule and then returning the empty capsules to the pharmacy bulk medication bottle, resulting in these pills being provided to patients.   

Pape admitted to tampering with Vyvanse capsules, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), officials said. In two counts where Pape pleaded guilty, he says he tampered with pills prescribed and dispensed for use by two different children, placing them “in danger of bodily injury” in March 2020, according to court records. One child received 24 “empty or partially empty” pill capsules that should have contained 10 mg of the substance, officials say, and another child received 13 of the tampered pills that should have contained 20 mg of Vyvanse.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Pape remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing.  Pape faces a possible maximum sentence of 28 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and 8 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.  At the plea Pape acknowledged that he will also be required to pay restitution to the victims of his crimes and will forfeit his Iowa pharmacist’s license.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation.

Press Release

Tags: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate

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