News and Press Releases

OSTEOPATH PLEADS GUILTY TO FAILURE TO MAINTAIN RECORDS RELATING TO DISTRIBUTION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2009

THEODORE J. KAPANJIE, 38, of Seattle, Washington, appeared today in U. S. District Court in Seattle and entered a guilty plea to failing to maintain records relating to the receipt and distribution of controlled substances as required by federal law. This offense is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

KAPANJIE is a Doctor of Osteopathy, licensed in the State of Washington, practicing in Seattle, Washington.

Federal law requires that all licensed medical practitioners maintain records of controlled substances received and dispensed by them in their practices. This is to insure full accountability as to the disposition of controlled substances and to prevent the unlawful diversion of narcotics by health care professionals. On nine separate instances during 2007 and 2008, contrary to law, Dr. KAPANJIE ordered into his practice from a pharmaceutical supply company quantities of controlled substances, which he ingested himself, and/or provided to family members, without making or maintaining any records of his receipt or dispensing of such drugs as required by law. Further, these drugs were not dispensed pursuant to any written prescriptions by a physician.

These receipts and distributions, as to which the defendant knowingly failed to maintain records, included the following: 1/4/07 - 100 pills hydrocodone; 3/23/07 - 100 pills hydrocodone; 7/9/07 - 100 pills hydrocodone: 9/6/07 - 100 pills hydrocodone; 10/5/07 - 500 pills clonazepam; 1/15/08 - 100 pills clonazepam; 8/22/07 - 1000 pills diazepam; 5/14/07 - 200 pills zolpidem; 6/15/07 - 100 pills phentermine.

Hydrocodone is a Schedule III controlled substance. Clonazepam, diazepam, zolpidem, and phentermine are Schedule IV controlled substances. Each of these substances is controlled due to its abuse potential and addictive properties. All are required to be prescribed and administered under the supervision of a treating physician in order to prevent addiction and recreational abuse.

KAPANJIE is scheduled to be sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue on August 26, 2009. While awaiting sentencing, KAPANJIE was ordered to submit to drug testing and treatment. KAPANJIE has already surrendered his federal license to prescribe controlled substances to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

National statistics show an increasing level of unlawful diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances. Studies reflect that hospital admissions attributable to prescription drug abuse and overdose have increased 500% over the last 10 years, and are currently costing the United States more than $1 billion dollars in health care costs each year. The unlawful possession and diversion of such substances by individuals – be it by patients, non-patients, or by medical professionals, contributes to this escalating problem, poses a danger to the user and to others, and constitutes a violation of law. All dispensers of controlled substances, including pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals are required by law to have compliance programs in effect to prevent the unlawful diversion of controlled substances, and are required to maintain records of their activities.

This case is part of a continuing Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation focused upon the unlawful diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances within the Western District of Washington and elsewhere.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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