Drug Company Can Stop Shipments to Oklahoma Pharmacy

March 26, 2012

An Oklahoma County judge allowed a drug company to suspend shipments to a south Oklahoma City pharmacy that prosecutors say sells an exorbitant amount of the three most-abused medications.

District Judge Lisa Davis on Friday ended a temporary order that required Cardinal Health to deliver controlled substances to Reliable Discount Pharmacy, the same drugstore where a pharmacist shot an unarmed, would-be teenage robber in 2009.

According to The Oklahoman, District Attorney David Prater and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control had requested the judge end her order because sales records showed that Reliable Discount Pharmacy sold more Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Alprazolam than Walmart, Walgreens and another store combined over the past two years.

In February, Davis required Cardinal Health Inc. to continue shipping pills to Reliable Discount Pharmacy for 45 more days

Reliable Discount Pharmacy’s attorney, Joe White, told the judge Friday that the store has been following the law.

“We haven’t done anything wrong,” White said.

On Feb. 1, Cardinal Health suspended shipments of controlled substances to Reliable Discount Pharmacy. The Ohio-based company determined there was “an unreasonable risk for potential diversion,” records show. Cardinal Health has been under pressure from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to better monitor sales at pharmacies it supplies.

As a result of Davis’ decision, Cardinal Health could again suspend shipments to the Oklahoma City pharmacy or it could reach an agreement with Reliable Discount Pharmacy to ship fewer pills. Reliable Discount Pharmacy also could ask Davis for another order requiring Cardinal Health to continue sending it pills.

White didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on Saturday.

Previously, the district attorney has said Reliable is a go-to place for addicts.

The pharmacy’s attorneys complained in legal papers that to rely on sales statistics “as proof of illegal activity is not only faulty logic, but smacks of a witch hunt against Reliable.”

The attorneys wrote that Reliable Discount Pharmacy serves those who cannot afford the prices at chain stores. They also said it has more customers now because other discount retailers have closed and because of the publicity from the shooting.

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