PHARMACIST TO PAY $150,000 TO SETTLE
ALLEGATIONS UNDER THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ROBERT JENCO, a pharmacist licensed by the State of Connecticut, and MARLBOROUGH PHARMACY, INC. have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the Government and will pay $150,000 to resolve allegations of violations of certain civil provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. JENCO formerly owned Marlborough Pharmacy, which was located on Independence Drive in Marlborough, Conn.
The claims against JENCO and MARLBOROUGH PHARMACY, INC. involve allegations that JENCO as pharmacist and MARLBOROUGH PHARMACY, INC. as operator of the pharmacy failed to insure that approximately 225 prescriptions filled at the pharmacy between May 2, 2003, and August 24, 2004, were written by an individual licensed practitioner acting in the course of his professional practice and were issued for a legitimate medical purpose.
In February 2007, JENCO’s son, a pharmacy technician at Marlborough Pharmacy, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for forging prescriptions for Oxycontin, a Schedule II controlled substance, and then selling more than 1,000 Oxycontin pills to others. It was alleged that many of these forged prescriptions were filled by ROBERT JENCO.
“The diversion of legitimately manufactured controlled substances is a problem that affects the health, safety and welfare of everybody in the State of Connecticut,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “Vigorous enforcement of the civil penalty provisions available to the United States under the Controlled Substances Act sends an important message to pharmacists that their stores must not be involved in the diversion of controlled substances, especially highly-addictive prescription narcotics, for illicit distribution and improper use.”
With the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, Congress took steps to attempt to create “a closed system” of distribution for controlled substances in which every facet of the handling of the substances, from their manufacture to their consumption by the ultimate user, was to be subject to pervasive government controls. This mission was taken against the backdrop of trying to prevent the diversion and abuse of legitimate controlled substances while at the same time ensuring an adequate supply of those substances needed to meet the medical and scientific needs of the United States.
In entering into the civil settlement agreement, JENCO and MARLBOROUGH PHARMACY, INC. did not admit liability, and the agreement indicates that the parties entered into the settlement to avoid the uncertainty and expense of further litigation. JENCO and MARLBOROUGH PHARMACY, INC. also asserted that they had defenses to the alleged violation of law.
This investigation was conducted by investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control in Rocky Hill, and the State of Connecticut, Department of Consumer Protection, Drug Control Division. The prosecution was led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan M. Soloway and Michelle McConaghy.
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