Federal judge bans Tampa pharmacy from prescribing opioids

TAMPA — A pharmacist, their wife or husband and their company husband or wife are accused of crafting and filling suspicious narcotics prescriptions in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, in accordance to the Justice Office.

Now the federal choose overseeing the case has purchased the organization, WeCare Pharmacy at 7830 Gunn Freeway, to quit distributing opioids and other controlled substances.

Federal prosecutors named WeCare pharmacist and proprietor Qingping Zhang spouse and pharmacy technician Li Yang the unnamed organization spouse and Yang’s company, L&Y Holdings LLC, which owns WeCare’s making. They are accused of dispensing “highly addictive and extremely abused prescription opioids” together with hydromorphone and oxycodone, in accordance to federal prosecutors.

They mentioned Zhang and Yang dismissed “‘red flags’ — that is, obvious indications of drug diversion and drug-looking for behavior,” in accordance to the Justice Office.

WeCare acquired hundreds of thousands of dosages of managed narcotics in between 2016 and 2020, tremendously exceeding state and local averages, according to a federal civil criticism filed past 7 days in the Center District of Florida. In 2018, the pharmacy bought virtually 30 times more hydromorphone than the normal Florida pharmacy, the complaint said, and much more than 5 situations far more than the normal pharmacy in Hillsborough County.

Meanwhile, the pharmacy was hardly providing other narcotics, the Justice Division explained, and in 2020 sold no hydrocodone — which prosecutors reported is the most usually recommended opioid in the state.

Of the 11,793 prescriptions the pharmacy fielded for managed substances from 2016 to 2021, far more than a 3rd of them, or 4,333, ended up composed by the exact person, an unnamed “Prescriber 1,” who operates a “purported professional medical practice” from the very same constructing as the pharmacy, according to the complaint. Prosecutors say Prescriber 1 is outlined as a supervisor of L&Y Holdings.

Patients at times drove from more than 100 miles to have prescriptions penned by Prescriber 1 and stuffed at WeCare, the grievance claimed, usually at the utmost dosage and in the exact same amount. Prosecutors termed that “an unavoidably evident crimson flag” that “any realistic pharmacist would have determined.”

The complaint does not say that any person in the case faces legal costs.