Internet Pharmacy Puts Pharmacist in Hot Water

April 7, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

The owner of a brick-and-mortar pharmacy has been arrested for allegedly operating an Internet pharmacy that illegally distributed medications.

The owner of a brick-and-mortar pharmacy has been arrested for allegedly operating an Internet pharmacy that illegally distributed medications.

Titilayo Akintomide Akinyoyenu, 47, worked alongside a physician named Alan J. Saltzman to ship medications to more than 38,000 individuals who did not have a legitimate doctor-patient relationship. The pair’s online sales allegedly netted them $8.3 million, according to the US attorney’s office.

The pharmacist allegedly owned and operated a site called ApexOnlinePharmacy.com from 2005 to 2010, and the illegal shipments were shipped from Akinyoyenu’s brick-and-mortar Apex Care Pharmacy in Washington, DC. Among the numerous shipments were 9000 orders for Fioricet.

Saltzman, who was also charged for his alleged involvement, is accused of approving all 38,000 requests for medications based on patients’ responses to an online medical questionnaire.

The US attorney’s office explained that physicians who write prescriptions without a valid doctor-patient relationship, as well as pharmacists who fill prescriptions with this knowledge, are violating the law.

“A doctor approving such prescription requests never sees or examines the customer making the request, cannot verify the identity of such a customer, makes no physical examination, cannot verify the nature of the malady, makes no diagnosis, conducts no medical tests, and implements no treatment plan,” a press release from the US attorney’s office stated.

Akinyoyenu and Saltzman are both charged with conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled drugs over the Internet, conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, and conspiracy to engage in mail fraud.