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Two Toledo pharmacists, pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioids by federal court

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 1:34 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Two Toledo pharmacists and a pharmacy have been restricted from dispensing opioids and other controlled substances after a federal court in Ohio issued a temporary restraining order.

In the civil complaint, the United States alleges Shaffer Pharmacy, its pharmacist-owner Thomas Tadsen, and pharmacist Wilson Bunton repeatedly dispensed opioids and other controlled substances in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. The complaint alleges that over a period of several years, the defendants dispensed highly addictive and highly abused prescription opioids while ignoring “red flags” — that is, obvious indications of drug diversion and drug-seeking behavior.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary granted the government’s request for a temporary restraining order, which was filed along with the complaint.

The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to take steps required to resolve red flags and ensure the legitimacy of prescriptions before filling them. According to court documents, the prescriptions dispensed by the defendants often involved highly abused opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, buprenorphine, and fentanyl, often in dangerous combination with other prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines (i.e., sedatives indicated for the treatment of anxiety, such as Xanax), and muscle relaxants (e.g., carisoprodol, also known by its brand name, Soma).

The complaint seeks civil penalties as well as a permanent injunction against the defendants. The defendants declined to comment.

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