Petersburg, WV, pharmacy agrees to pay $2 million to close feder - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Petersburg, WV, pharmacy agrees to pay $2 million to close federal probe

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A Petersburg, WV pharmacy and several of its employees have paid $2 million to end a federal investigation into its operation.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Judy's Drug Store Inc., and employees Darin Judy, Emily Judy, Kimberly Arbaugh and Casey Watts paid $2 million to the government to settle accusations the store had repeatedly filled prescriptions for controlled substances, such as oxycodone and hydromorphone, that were not written for legitimate medical purposes.

Judy's Drug Store is privately owned. Darin Judy is manager, and Emily Judy is president and works as a pharmacist. Arbaugh and Watts also are pharmacists.

Ihlenfeld said filling suspect prescriptions is outside the scope of professional practice.

“This is another important step in our efforts to prevent prescription painkillers from being diverted and used for improper purposes,” he said. “We used both our criminal and civil authority to accomplish our mission in this case, and we would have sought criminal charges against one of the pharmacists involved had he not passed away.”

The federal investigation into Judy’s Drug Store arose after the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted and obtained a conviction against a Hardy County physician, Dr. Rajan Masih, in 2011. Masih, convicted of distributing controlled substances for other than legitimate medical purposes and outside the scope of professional practice, wrote many of the prescriptions for controlled substances improperly filled by Judy’s Drug Store.

“Today’s settlement serves as a warning to those who are driven by greed that distracts them from their responsibilities to the very communities in which they live and work," said Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, D.C. Field Division. "The citizens of Grant County should be able to walk their streets and go about daily activities with their families without fear or exposure to drug related activity resulting from suspect dispensing of controlled substance pharmaceuticals."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan G. McGonigal handled the case in coordination with the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.